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These two useful and beautifully-produced sets of conference and associated papers span 1200 years of theology and church archaeology in these islands and beyond. The volumes are complementary, comprising a thematic Venn diagram on the rood, its screen and the Reformation afterlife of screens. The area of Venn intersection around screens points to a missing fourth theme of great importance, which I will add to the rich store of data presented by the sixteen essayists, all of whose contributions are worthwhile in their own right.
This study traces the way in which a typical Elizabethan Reformed Protestant became something slightly different during a ministerial career prematurely terminated by death in his forties, and what he became in the centuries that followed. It explains the background of divided theologies in the national Church of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, the emergence of ‘avant-garde conformism’, and the way in which Hooker was used by opposing sides to justify their positions, particularly after the Restoration of 1660, when the term ‘Anglicanism’ first becomes fully appropriate for the life and thought of the Church of England. As the Church moved from national monopoly to established status, Hooker became of use in different ways to both Tories and Whigs, though in the nineteenth century the Oxford Movement largely monopolised his memory. His views on the construction of authority may still help Anglicanism find its theological way forward.
This paper presents a probable identification of not one but two portrait miniatures of Gregory Cromwell, only son of England's only vice-gerent in spirituals, by Hans Holbein the Younger. The historical evidence has hitherto remained unconnected because of misunderstandings about Gregory's age, which are clarified here, and also thanks to the unexpected modern locations of the two relevant miniatures.
In 1971 and early 1972, as a final-year Cambridge undergraduate, I turned to the study of the English Reformation, under the able supervision of Felicity Heal, while attending the lectures of a wonderfully rackety and quirkily learned Fellow of Selwyn College, the late and much lamented patron of the Cambridge Footlights, Harry Porter. The course was entitled ‘Thought and Religion in England 1500 to 1650’, and it was fairly cutting-edge by the standards of its day: a genuine effort to reach across the divide then standard between the history and divinity faculties. It also tried to integrate England with mainland Europe – what in those days, we would routinely call with sublime and literal insularity ‘the Continent’.