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Reformation without endReligion, politics and the past in post-revolutionary England$
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Robert G. Ingram

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526126948

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526126948.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.344) Conclusion
Source:
Reformation without end
Author(s):

Robert G. Ingram

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526126948.003.0018

The conclusion explains why the English Reformation ended in the late eighteenth century. It discounts a secular and secularizing Enlightenment as an explanation. Rather, it offers three other reasons for the Reformation’s ending. Firstly, by the last quarter of the eighteenth century enough time had passed to make the seventeenth-century wars of religion less threatening than they had seemed earlier in the century. Secondly, the Reformation issues with which the eighteenth-century English dealt got supplanted by other, more urgent ones, often having to do with England’s expanding empire. Finally, and importantly, the Reformation ended because the polemical divines who are the subject of this book failed fully in their tasks of defining truth and of defending the autonomy of the established Church of England. In the end, the modern state took on the role as truth’s arbiter and made the Church a subordinate, dependent institution.

Keywords:   J.N. Figgis, Church and state, Erastianism

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