John Bale, Mythmaker for the English Reformation

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Purdue University Press, 1976 - Religion - 240 pages
John Bale (1495 - 1563) made a strong impact on the growth of English Protestant self-consciousness in the sixteenth century. He spent twenty years as a Carmelite friar, and then converted to Protestantism in the mid-1530s. Henry VIII's government enlisted Bale to write and produce plays against the Papacy; he had a decisive influence on John Foxe, and Foxe's 'Book of Martyrs' (1563); and Bale's drama 'Kynge Johan' was an important link between the medieval mystery plays and the age of Shakespeare. His greatest achievement, however, was his re-telling of English history in light of the Reformation. Bale argued that England had a divine vocation to protect and defend Protestantism against Roman political subversion and non-Biblical religion. Bale's story of England as the ""new Israel shaped the self-consciousness of the Elizabethan age, and via John Winthrop and New England in 1630 bequeathed a sense of national vocation to America as well. Leslie P. Fairfield studied at Princeton and Harvard, taught at Purdue University, and served for thirty years as Professor of Church History at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry. -- Publisher -

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A Pattern for Church History
The English Past

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