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Title: Covenant and Reformed Identity in England 1525-1555
Author: Wainwright, Robert James David
ISNI:       0000 0003 7009 2943
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This study examines Reformed identity as an aspect of religious identity formation during the early Reformation period. It contributes towards an understanding of the character of the English Reformation by examining the reception of Swiss theology. The research is principally focussed upon the theological concept of covenant which blossomed in a distinctively bilateral and conditional form in early Reformation Switzerland. Patterns of thought discerned in English theology are related to this Swiss pattern, thereby assisting the process of identifying individual reformers according to continental models and elucidating an important theological development of the period. The concept of covenant had implications for contemporary discourses regarding the doctrines of justification and sanctification. It also made an impact upon sacramental theology in the way that sacraments were viewed as covenant signs. Despite the essential uniformity of the Swiss Reformed concept of covenant, three distinct emphases arose in Swiss Reformed sacramental theology with regard to the efficacy of the sacraments as means of grace. Having identified cases of English reception of the Swiss concept of covenant, their specific influences are determined using patterns of sacramental theology. Chapter one considers the problems involved in discerning different forms of religious identity in this period. Evidence for Reformed identity in England from the 1520s to the 1550s is surveyed from various different angles. The transmission of Swiss ideas through the Low Countries is considered, and alternative explanations for the failure of English Lutheranism are evaluated, particularly Lollardy and humanism. Chapter two demonstrates the essential consistency of the concepts of covenant espoused by leading Swiss reformers. Chapter three examines the concepts of covenant of four English reformers. Chapter four highlights different patterns in Swiss sacramental theology, and chapter five analyses English cases in light of those Swiss models.
Supervisor: Brigden, Susan ; Methuen, Charlotte Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Early Modern Britain and Europe ; Church history ; Intellectual History ; Reformation ; covenant theology ; soteriology ; sacraments