Reformation Generation

Last Updated: Mar. 12, 2008

The Reformation Generation (Prophet, born 1483–1511) began life surrounded by the advantages of order and affluence. They rebelled as youth, prompting first the colleges (in the 1520s) and then an egocentric young king and his Parliament (in the 1530s) to join in a religious upheaval. By the time passions cooled, the Catholic Church was liquidated, the clergy shattered, the masses armed with Bibles, and the Anglican faith unshackled from Rome. In midlife, their insolence hardened into severe principle. With women figuring prominently, they became “commonwealth” moralists, “family of love” mystics, “Calvinist” (or “Romist”) proselytizers, and unrepentant martyrs burned or hanged for their heresies. Deep in elderhood, many lived to see the nation gravitate to the “Puritan Settlement” they had worked so long to inspire. (ENGLISH: King Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, John Knox, Elizabeth Barton, William Tyndale, Nicholas Ridley; FOREIGN: Martin Luther, John Calvin)

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