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The Question of Obedience and the Formation of Confessional Identity in the Irish Reformation

The Question of Obedience and the Formation of Confessional Identity in the Irish Reformation The Question of Obedience and the Formation of Confessional Identity in the Irish Reformation By Mark A. Hutchinson This article sets out to explain religious change in Ireland in terms of the crown’scallforobedienceinawell-orderedcommonwealth.Thismeansthink- ingabout the problem of religious change in Ireland interms ofthe categories of authority and obedience, as opposed to those of confession and choice. There is no doubt that tentative confessional positions had emerged by 1530 withtheAugsburgconfession.ButHenryVIII,likeotherEuropeanrulersand magistrates, did not ask his subjects to choose a new confession. Whilst the king was quite clearly asking his subjects to change their religious position by rejecting papal authority, this was presented as a demand that the king’s sub- jectsobeytheprinceasthecorrectlyordainedheadofthecommonwealth;and in setting out such a position Henry emphasized his religious orthodoxy. Sig- nificantly,inpresentingreligiouschangeasatraditionaldemandforobedience to the prince, this placed severe limits on the conceptual space for dissent and disobedience. This is important, because it suggests that in such a mental world, where orthodoxy and obedience were key, dissent would only become possible if different languages of obedience and orthodoxy became available, whichcouldexplainandjustifydifferentpositions. FortheOldEnglishcom- munityinIrelandthiswasparticularlypertinent.TheOldEnglishconsistedof those English residents in Ireland, who, since the twelfth century conquest, Research andwritingwere carried out duringamid-careerfellowshipat theLichtenberg- Kolleg, the Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study and finished as http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte - Archive for Reformation History de Gruyter

The Question of Obedience and the Formation of Confessional Identity in the Irish Reformation

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2020 by Gütersloher Verlagshaus
eISSN
2198-0489
DOI
10.14315/arg-2020-1110107
Publisher site
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Abstract

The Question of Obedience and the Formation of Confessional Identity in the Irish Reformation By Mark A. Hutchinson This article sets out to explain religious change in Ireland in terms of the crown’scallforobedienceinawell-orderedcommonwealth.Thismeansthink- ingabout the problem of religious change in Ireland interms ofthe categories of authority and obedience, as opposed to those of confession and choice. There is no doubt that tentative confessional positions had emerged by 1530 withtheAugsburgconfession.ButHenryVIII,likeotherEuropeanrulersand magistrates, did not ask his subjects to choose a new confession. Whilst the king was quite clearly asking his subjects to change their religious position by rejecting papal authority, this was presented as a demand that the king’s sub- jectsobeytheprinceasthecorrectlyordainedheadofthecommonwealth;and in setting out such a position Henry emphasized his religious orthodoxy. Sig- nificantly,inpresentingreligiouschangeasatraditionaldemandforobedience to the prince, this placed severe limits on the conceptual space for dissent and disobedience. This is important, because it suggests that in such a mental world, where orthodoxy and obedience were key, dissent would only become possible if different languages of obedience and orthodoxy became available, whichcouldexplainandjustifydifferentpositions. FortheOldEnglishcom- munityinIrelandthiswasparticularlypertinent.TheOldEnglishconsistedof those English residents in Ireland, who, since the twelfth century conquest, Research andwritingwere carried out duringamid-careerfellowshipat theLichtenberg- Kolleg, the Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study and finished as

Journal

Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte - Archive for Reformation Historyde Gruyter

Published: Oct 1, 2020

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