Tradition and Dissent in English Christianity
How different was English Christianity in the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) from that of the childhood of Roger Martyn (born c.1527)? When Henry VIII was denied a divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon. He decided to dissolve and abolish monasteries and broke all ties with the Roman Catholic Church. Henry VIII’s motives were somewhat personal rather than religious. “King Henry VIII’s initial conflict with the Papacy was not so much religious as personal and dynastic” (John Wolffe, ‘Tradition and Dissent’, Book 2, Chapter 3, pp78). It is at this point that that the dissent from traditional Christianity began in England. Catholicism and Protestantism are both forms of Christianity the difference is that they have both interpreted the Bible and word of God differently “Christianity teaches that God exists in three forms, or persons: the father, who created the world; the son, Jesus who redeemed humankind; and the Holy Spirit, the continuing supernatural power in the life of the church”( John Wolffe, Chapter 3, Book 2 pp75) Prior to the 16th Century the importance of tradition was emphasised and the authority of the church would dictate the teachings of God through rituals and traditions. The debate was who was right. What was the correct way to practice Christianity? “Through the bible which claims to record the exact original words, or through the church which claims the ongoing divine guidance of the Holy spirit” (John Wolffe, Chapter 3, Book 2, pp 75) Catholicism traditions are based upon teachings passed down through generations. Prior to the reformation Catholicism was the religion of choice in England. The churches were based upon classic gothic architecture close to that of the medieval era, which is also where the rituals and traditions had originated from. They were lavish in design, filled with inspirational art “there was a goodly mount, made of one great tree (..) carved very artificially, with...
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