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For nearly five centuries readers of history have been treated to a one sided view of the late medieval English Church, and that narrow, negative vision has been permitted to stand for the whole. Most of the misconceptions about the clerical contribution to the tutor dynasty's formative years stem from criticisms of clerical worldliness composed by More, Erasmus, Colet, and others. The Polytyque Churche is Kaufman's attempt to restore the reputation of the late medieval English church and its position in political culture.
At the core of the book, Kaufman analyzes these deceptive accusations against the church. He prefaces his discussion with an illuminating chronicle of the continuing deception--a history of the history of earliest Tutor political culture. Kaufman's fresh perspectives on the religious dimensions of public service and on the political character and consequences of ecclesiastical administration are fully crystallized in his presentation of scenes from clerical life that illustrate his central theme--the interpretation of religion and political culture. Kaufman maps that interpretation by examining four points of contact: allegedly "secular" pageants, ecclesiastical measures against late medieval crime, the church's immunities, and parish life. From this analysis emerges a partial recovery of the "the polytyque churche" in a presentation that coaxes students, scholars, and other readers to reconsider the whole issue of the relationships between church and state, religion and politics.
Mercer University Press
Great Britain, church history, Great Britain politics and government, Great Britain political culture
Jepson School of Leadership Studies
Kaufman, Peter Iver. "The Polytyque Churche": Religion and Early Tudor Political Culture, 1485-1516. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press,1986.