2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Social Science

Seeking Order in a Disordered World: Stephen Gardiner and the Royal Supremacy in the English Reformation
Paul R. Strauss
Dr. Steven Reschly and Dr. Kathryn Brammall, Faculty Mentors

While many historians consider Bishop Stephen Gardiner of Winchester (1498-1555) one of the leading conservatives at the Tudor courts of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I, they have often depicted him as a political opportunist rather than as a bishop of religious convictions. His extant writings, however, show him to be a man with strongly conservative religious beliefs. They reveal what he considered to be the essence of universal and true Christianity at a time of considerable religious upheaval in England. Gardiner was a bishop and politician in the Henrician mold as described by Tudor historian Christopher Haigh: a leader who was concerned about stability in the realm and traditional religious doctrines, such as transubstantiation, more than he was by the question of supreme headship over the English Church. This paper examines Gardiner’s conditional attitude toward the royal supremacy by examining government correspondence, polemical writings, and extant letters.

Keywords: religion, Reformation, England, Tudor, Stephen Gardiner, Henry VIII, papacy

Topic(s):History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 50-3
Location: VH 1320
Time: 1:45 pm

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