What is Religious History Now?



As an undergraduate at London University, religious history was largely political history — indeed, looking back, what was offered for the early modern period of British history in the late 1950s could have been termed the Gospel of Sir Geoffrey Elton. What was offered for Europe was very much religion and political outcomes — cuius regio eius religio — seasoned with words such as transubstantiation and iconoclasm to convey the content of faith and strife. Certain key facts remain engraved upon my mind from that experience, such as a lecture by Renier intended to impress upon the undergraduate mind that only one in ten people of the Netherlands were Calvinist at the time of the Dutch revolt. I am perhaps exaggerating somewhat as to the limitations of the package. I remember, without precise reference as to the content, some very elegant Lambeth Palace lectures by Dom David Knowles on English monasticism and realising that on exam papers religion and the rise of capitalism was a proverbial chestnut. Weber and Tawney and the confessional character of economic change must certainly have figured.


Eighteenth Century Sixteenth Century Religious Commitment French Revolution Early Modern Period 
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Further reading

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2002

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