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Stephen Gardiner and the origins of Erastian Catholicism, c. 1528- 1547

Austen, James F. (2002) Stephen Gardiner and the origins of Erastian Catholicism, c. 1528- 1547. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is a study of Stephen Gardiner's ecclesiological and theological development between his rise to international prominence in 1528 and the death of Henry VIII in 1547. It broadly divides these years into three: it begins by sketching out Gardiner's biographical details and by analysing his attitude to the Church before the split with Rome, and it identifies 1534 as the date at which Gardiner was converted to the Royal Supremacy. The second section examines his thought through the 1530s, during which, Gardiner was mostly concerned with the constitutional and ecclesiological implications of the Royal Supremacy over the fledgling Church of England. In the 1540s, however, he had became more preoccupied with the importance of Catholic theology, and the third section studies how he dealt with the rise of popular Protestantism and how he set about to defend Catholicism. Gardiner’s written works reflected these trends, and this thesis determines just how his ideology progressed by paying particularly close attention to both his published books and his private letters. Gardiner’s faith is described here in terms of Erastian Catholicism, by which is meant a belief in the validity of Henry VIII's Royal Supremacy combined with a doctrinal Catholicism. The thesis shows that these two propositions were not as antithetical as has been thought to be the case, and that Gardiner's primary objective during these twenty years was to reconcile the two. This thesis is an examination of Gardiner's intellectual development, and it is not intended to be an exhaustive biography. It gives special attention to events in ' Gardiner's life that either have not been sufficiently expounded to date, or have been persistently misunderstood.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2002
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 11:38

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