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English Reformation Origins Of Absolutism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows how the ecclesiastical debates in Tudor England helped create an atmosphere in which the fully worked-out theories of royal absolutism and government by consent of the seventeenth-century could flourish. It discusses Chisten Rule and the prince as God's politic will incarnate, the political theology of Bishop John Hooper and John Bradford, the spirit of the political literature of the Marian Exiles, and John Aylmer's defence of Elizabeth, royalist apologies and anti-Catholic polemic. For the most part, Tudor political thought was at odds with absolutism. Miles Coverdale's political thought represents the strongest affirmation of royal authority to be found in the writing of any Tudor Protestant. Coverdale declared government to be both fatherly and quasi-divine. In 1550 Bishop Hooper affirmed the quasi-divinity of the prince on several occasions.

Keywords: anti-Catholic polemic; Chisten Rule; Marian Exiles; royal absolutism; Tudor England

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