This lecture explores the extent to which England’s long Reformation was a family affair. It investigates the role of both kith and kin in the religious developments that fractured a Christian Church that had long conceived of itself as coterminous with society itself. It examines the revival of household religion and its role as both a bulwark and challenge to the ecclesiastical and political status quo. It shows that the Reformation served simultaneously to foster the creation of devout families and to spawn movements and groups that described themselves as the children of God – associeties of sisters, brothers, cousins and friends. It will also contest the suggestion that the religious developments of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were corrosive of ties of spiritual kinship and contend, on the contrary, that in complex ways they were reinforced by the advent of Protestantism.
This Lecture will be followed by a drinks reception from 18:00-19:00 in North School