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Religion, Politics, or Lust; which is the most useful in explaining the Henrician Reformation?(TM)

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'Religion, Politics, or Lust; which is the most useful in explaining the Henrician Reformation?' As well as Henry being in desperate want of a male heir, factors such as anti-clericalism and the growing Protestant reformation led to the eventual Henrician Reform during the 16th century. It was this Reform that broke the Church of England away from the Pope and the conventionality of the Catholic Church. During the Reformation a larger proportion of secular control was put over the church and the service and clergy were all converted to the Protestant religion. Henry's lust for both power and wealth: religion in the form of the breaking away from the Catholic Church and radicalist ideas all played intrinsic roles in the Reformation. Lust appears to be the most useful when looking to discuss the Reformation as, as well as his lust for wealth it was also his lust for Anne Boleyn that was a significant contributor to the overall Reform that took place. Both "lust" "religion" and "politics" are intertwined when discussing the way in which Henry's want for a male heir contributed to Reform. Once Henry had ascended to the throne in 1509 there was an expectancy that he would produce a male heir, however, despite having six children only one survived- Mary Tudor. His inability to produce a male heir with Catherine of Aragon both narrowed his political standing and led to him questioning the level to which his marriage was legitimate due to his religious standing. ...read more.


Examples of the Reform that Martin Luther talked about were appearing in England among the better educated classes and throughout England there were common lawyers who refused the privileges of the Clergy who had been influenced by Lutheran ideas and therefore antagonized Rome. As a result of the extension of knowledge of radicalist ideas spreading through England; the criticism of the Catholic Church plays a big part in understanding why the Reformation happened. Henry's lust for wealth and the religious aspects of the Reformation is also emphasized through the political idea of Erastianism that became very prominent during the Henrician reform. Erastianism is the philosophy that the state should have authority over the church. During the 16th century money was given to monasteries so that people would not enter a place of limbo before they died called purgatory. With the introduction of new ideas there was a theological objection of the idea of purgatory and also allegations that the monks in monasteries were corrupt. It was argued that monks were living a lie because monasticism began with taking vows and living a simple life however, it was clear that their ideals had changed as they were suing the money given to them to make their lives better. Reformers argued that they had lost their original ideals and therefore Catholic monastries should be closed. ...read more.


Aware of the vulnerable position of the church, the clergy did not show resistance to this and Henry's royal authority was fully accepted in May 1532 after the "Submission of the Clergy." It was then universally accepted that all standard law would be subject to inspection by a Royal Commission and all religious legislation would have to have the approval of Henry before being accepted. Taxes paid to Rome by archbishops were reduced to 5% in the "Act of Conditional Restraint of Annates," and royal authority was also recognized as being adequate for blessing the bishops. This clearly depicts how wide spread anti- clericalism became as it not only occurred among the educated but also of Parliament showing how the role of politics plays an important role when explaining the Henrician Reformation. Overall, all three areas of lust, religion and politics could all be useful in explaining different aspects of the Henrician Reform. However, lust appears to be a prominent feature throughout each of the reasons for Reform as his lust for Anne Boleyn, a male heir, control, power and wealth inevitable drove him to make the changes involving religion and politics. Without lust, it may have been unlikely that Henry would have chosen to completely broken with Rome which was a key point in the Henrician Reform. Although all factors did contribute to the build up of the Reformation lust is what gave it the final push to go through and led to the eventual growth of the Church of England. ...read more.

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