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Before turning to the radical reformers who regarded Luther and Calvin as too compromising, let us consider another land in which a conservative expression of the Reformation developed. If the first important center of the Protestant movement was a university community, and the second a thriving commercial city, the third was the royal court of England. The English Reformation was an act of state. Until the occasion of his break with Rome, Henry VIII (1509-1547) was considered a faithful son of the Church. He had burned several Lutheran heretics and had written a tract against Luther's Babylonian Captivity. The pope rewarded these services by giving Henry the title of "Defender of the Faith." His subjects, however, were stirring. The legacy of Wyclif and the Lollards left a strong deposit of piety and, at the same time, anticlericalism in the English tradition. Furthermore, the monarchy, supported by the middle class, had proved increasingly hostile to the wealth and authority of the Church in England and had already wrung from the papacy important concessions in the direction of a state-dominated church. [excerpt]


This is a part of Section VII: The Protestant Movement. The Contemporary Civilization page lists all additional sections of Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, as well as the Table of Contents for both volumes.

More About Contemporary Civilization:

From 1947 through 1969, all first-year Gettysburg College students took a two-semester course called Contemporary Civilization. The course was developed at President Henry W.A. Hanson’s request with the goal of “introducing the student to the backgrounds of contemporary social problems through the major concepts, ideals, hopes and motivations of western culture since the Middle Ages.”

Gettysburg College professors from the history, philosophy, and religion departments developed a textbook for the course. The first edition, published in 1955, was called An Introduction to Contemporary Civilization and Its Problems. A second edition, retitled Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, was published in 1958 and 1960. It is this second edition that we include here. The copy we digitized is from the Gary T. Hawbaker ’66 Collection and the marginalia are his.