Oaths and the English Reformation (Cambridge Studies in by Jonathan Michael Gray

By Jonathan Michael Gray

The perform of swearing oaths used to be on the centre of the English Reformation. at the one hand, oaths have been the medium by which the Henrician regime applied its ideology and secured loyalty one of the humans. at the different, they have been the software wherein the English humans embraced, resisted and manipulated royal coverage. Jonathan Michael grey argues that because the Reformation was once negotiated via oaths, their distinct importance and serve as are valuable to knowing it totally. Oaths and the English Reformation sheds new mild at the motivation of Henry VIII, the enforcement of and resistance to reform and the level of renowned participation and negotiation within the political approach. putting oaths on the middle of the narrative, this e-book argues that the English Reformation was resolute as a lot through its approach to implementation and reaction because it was once by means of the theology or political thought it transmitted.

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The first condition of a lawful oath was that the oath must be sworn in truth. At its most basic level, religious writers used this companion to attack perjury. 88 Taken in this sense, religious writers decried perjury as a mortal sin. 89 Thomas Wygenhale declared that 87 88 89 Vulgate. Biblia sacra iuxta Vulgatam versionem. Coverdale translated this verse as follows: ‘And shalt swear: The Lorde lyueth: in treuth, in equite and rightuousnesse’; Coverdale Bible of 1535. The ambiguity in the definition of perjury is best illustrated by Thomas Wygenhale, who first gave a specific definition of perjury and a few sentences later gave a more general definition: ‘periurium est mendacium iuramento firmatum.

53 Meditation upon Christ’s passion might logically lead to an abhorrence of the sins for which Christ suffered – and still suffers according to some of the more vivid medieval writers. And blasphemous oaths were especially keen candidates for such an application because the exact nature of the sin (speaking of Christ’s members in an irreverent way) called to mind the suffering that these same members underwent on the cross. This association is obvious in a fifteenth-century homily on swearing preserved at the Bodleian Library.

301r –305v ; BL Harleian MS 785, fols. 90v –93v ; BL Harleian MS 6873, fols. 2r –15v . Although this list is not comprehensive, it certainly will provide the reader with a sense of the standard forms of oaths of office. ‘In the begynnynge was that worde, and that worde was with god: and god was thatt worde’; John 1:1; Tyndale, New Testament 1526. 44 Carpenter, Destructorium viciorum, sig. g5r . Bale, Select Works, 113. ), Certain Sermons, 133. ), Dives and Pauper, 235. ), Book for a Simple and Devout Woman, 279; Carpenter, Destructorium viciorum, sig.

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