This book explores the hitherto neglected relationship between the English Reformation and the Lutheran scholar Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560). It looks at how Henry, following his break with Rome, flirted with Lutheranism as a doctrine to replace Catholicism, before the eventual collapse of the policy and its replacement with a more moderate reform programme under Cranmer. It then goes on to investigate how Melanchthon, as the leading proponent of Lutheranism influenced successive royal governments, both positively and negatively, as they struggled to impose their own brand of doctrinal conformity on the English church. By refracting the well known narrative of the English Reformation through the lens of Melanchthon, new light is shed on many events that have puzzled historians. The study provides fascinating new perspectives on such questions as why Henry suddenly abandoned his Lutheran policy, why Cromwell fell from power in 1540 and even insights into Elizabeth's personal beliefs. By tying events in England into the context of the wider European Reformation, through the work of Philip Melanchthon, this book offers fresh insights into the nature and development of early evangelical Protestantism.
’John Schofield makes a persuasive case for the influence of the German Lutheran thinker Philip Melanchthon on the English Reformation… The book is well written and compelling; never insistent, it makes its case by the slow accretion of details, saving its final revelation for the last page… the book is enjoyable, persuasive, and eminently readable…’ Sixteenth Century Journal
Contents: Preface. Part 1 The Evangelical Humanist: War over the sacraments; This little Greek; All thy waves and billows. Part 2 Melanchthon and King Henry VIII: Your friend, King Henry VIII; The ten articles; Next to the Bible; Points of dispute; The six articles; Lenten purging. Part 3 Melanchthon and Henry's Successors: The ecumenical evangelical: Melanchthon and the Edwardians; Melanchthon and the exiles; Melanchthon and the English Deborah. Appendix; Bibliography; Index.