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Paul’s Cross and the Implementation of Protestant Reforms under Edward VI

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Chapter Summary

The preaching of sermons at Paul's Cross epitomized dramatic changes in religion that took place following the accession of Edward VI as a nine-year-old boy. This is the case because the government of Edward VI continued the long-standing practice of employing this out-of-doors pulpit at St. Paul's Cathedral as a venue for sermons that disseminated and defended official doctrine. The heterogeneity of the congregations that gathered there made Paul's Cross a powerful vehicle for the manipulation of public opinion. The Protestant lords who governed England during the royal minority, first Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Protector of the Realm, and second his successor John Dudley, Earl of Warwick and later Duke of Northumberland, fostered a sweeping and controversial program of Protestant reform in theological doctrine and ecclesiastical practice. It veered away from the Anglo-Catholic theology countenanced by the largely political Reformation effected by Henry VIII.

Keywords: Anglo-Catholic theology; Edward Seymour; Edward VI; England; Henry VIII; John Dudley; Paul's Cross; Protestant reform



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