Remembering the Reformation today – Katy’s view
In this guest post, Katy Walton explores the impact 500 years of Reformation have had on her as both a historian and a practising Christian.
Katy is a blogger and civil servant who holds a BA in History from the University of East Anglia, and MA in Public Humanities from the University of Sheffield. This extract comes from her CounterCultural CounterCouture blog.
So what did the Reformation in England leave the generations to come? Most obviously: the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. Though the foundations for this were laid by Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell, it was Elizabeth I who shaped the C.of.E into what we recognise today. The final Tudor monarch, she faced the challenge of bridging the rift between religious groups created by her father and siblings. Instead of favouring Protestants or Catholics, she favoured moderation.
You can see this still at work in the Anglican Church today. Where liturgy and worship songs can be part of the same service. The Lord’s Prayer can be as much a part of congregational worship as the latest Rend Collective song. It is also the reason that Anglo-Catholics and Low Churches are within the same denomination despite big differences in worship and tradition. When we look back to the Reformation, we can focus on the martyrs and politics. Alternatively, we can look how the English Reformation has resulted in a denomination based on finding a middle road between two extremes.
Nowadays, there isn’t a year that doesn’t have some controversy that could rip the Anglican Church apart. Despite the tradition of moderation that Anglicanism has come out of, we seem intent on destroying those who do not believe the same as us. What has happened to the middle road?
Read more of Katy’s thoughts on this lost middle road in her blog post here.
More from the University of Sheffield
Katy was inspired to write this piece by a talk from Iona Hine, director of 500 Reformations, on translation in the Book of Ruth.
Watch Iona’s talk here.
Feature image: Detail from the cover of Alec Ryrie’s The Age of Reformation: The Tudor and Stewart Realms 1485-1603. Showing part of the title page from the first authorized English Bible. Second edition. Routledge, 2017. ISBN 9781315272146.
Profile picture from Katy’s blog.