Alec Ryrie is Professor of the History of Christianity at Durham University, Professor of Divinity at Gresham College, London, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is president of the Ecclesiastical History Society and co-editor of the Journal of Ecclesiastical History. His books include The Age of Reformation (2009, 2017), Being Protestant in Reformation Britain (2013), Protestants (2017), Unbelievers (2019), and most recently The English Reformation: A Very Brief History (2020).
This lecture will look at how the Tudors came to create something which they called 'the Church of England': what that title meant and how they used it to cement their control over England's religion and to outflank their enemies. It will also look at how this 'Church of England' came to incubate the very distinctive form of Protestant Christianity called 'Anglicanism', and at some of the alternative paths along the way that it might have taken instead.