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Title: Political prophecy in Tudor England
Author: Etheridge, D. T.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1980
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The object of this thesis is to study the relationship between politics and prophecy in Tudor England, as expressed through political instability and factional opposition. An attempt is made in Section I to set the scene for political prophecy by providing a short analysis of late medieval and Tudor cosmology and occultism, demonstrating how prophecy fitted into this. Chapter 2 then attempts an assessment of the limits of belief, including the assault on prophecy in England, a short survey of the political environment, and the benefits that prophecy offered. The greater body of the work which follows deals with the three main genres which dominated the relationship between prophecy and politics. Astrology is the first of these genres and constitutes the subject of Section II. Chapter 1 deals with the belief in, and incidence of, astrological prediction, including the growth of printed works on the subject during the century. Chapter 2 surveys the relationship between astrology and factional opposition, and its importance and value for persecuted and seditious minorities. Chapter 3 then charts the effect of the increase in printed astrological predictions on the emotional and mental stability of the population, and attempts to explain why there were only three incidents of astrological panic during the century. Revelationary prophecy is the subject of Section III. The relationship and importance of divine revelationary prophecy of living prophets to politics is the subject of chapter 1, and includes a brief analysis of the physical and psychological causes of revelation. Chapter 2 then examines the use of biblical and medieval revelation in the rise of Protestantism, and the concept of the birth and death of Antichrist. Chapter 3 continues with the Antichrist prophecy, examining the rise of imminent eschatological belief in England and its manifestation and climax during the reign of Elizabeth I. Traditional prophecy is the subject of Section IV. Chapter 1 comprises a definition of this genres its formulation, compilation, and propagation; followed in Chapter 2 by a detailed study of the link with propaganda, sedition, and rebellion. This relationship is continued in Chapter 3 in respect to the sleeping king; the background and political relationship of the legend, particularly under Edward VI; and Anglo-European connections. Finally the Epilogue analyses prophetic language; its importance for the credibility of prophecy, and its contribution to the relationship between prophecy and politics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available