Defending the Faith: John Jewel and the Church of England


In September, the Davenant Trust supplied bursaries to help three scholars present papers at the conference in Salisbury, UK, “Defending the Faith,” celebrating the legacy of Bishop John Jewel and his Apology of the Church of England.  Dr. Angela Ranson, one of the conference organizers, had this to say:

The Defending the Faith Conference took place in Salisbury, UK, from 16-17 September, 2014. Organized by Drs. Angela Ranson, Sarah Bastow, Andre Gazal and Lucy Wooding, it was designed to celebrate the contribution of Bishop John Jewel to the development of the Church of England. We chose 2014 as the year for it to take place in honour of the 450th anniversary of the English translation of Jewel’s important work, The Apology of the Church of England.

The conference programme was made up of five sessions and three keynote addresses, and involved scholars from Hong Kong, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The sessions focused on three key aspects: defending the church, the rituals and fabric of the church, and the legacy of Jewel himself. Our keynote speakers, who were Torrance Kirby, Thomas S. Freeman and Lucy Wooding, looked at Jewel in a wider context. Kirby looked at the culture of persuasion in Elizabethan England, while Wooding examined how Jewel interacted with the Catholics and Freeman connected this interaction to the underlying messages in a woodcut from Foxe’s Acts and Monuments.  

Due to the support of the Davenant Trust, we were able to offer bursaries for graduate students. This truly developed the scope and depth of our conference proceedings. Our graduate students’ papers examined Jewel’s connection to the sacramental life of Elizabethan England, in part through the changing perception of monasticism and the use of Old Testament imagery in early modern polemics.

We wanted to express our gratitude for this support, and for the contribution of Brad Littlejohn. He was an excellent liaison between our organizing committee and the Trust, and we appreciate his input. Thanks to all, and we hope to be able to work together again in the future.

We are now pleased to announce that those three scholars, together with many of the other presenters, are slated to have their contributions published in a volume of conference proceedings forthcoming late next year from Truman State University Press, Defending the Faith: John Jewel and the Church of England.  Dr. Ranson, who will be editing the work, summarizes,

“This volume seeks to examine the development of a distinct religious culture in the Elizabethan Church of England, by studying the work and reputation of one of its most effective defenders, Bishop John Jewel (1522-1571). Its methodology is twofold: first, it will investigate the rhetorical and polemical strategies that Jewel used, and how his challengers resisted them. Second, it will study the effectiveness of these strategies in clarifying the doctrine and structure of the Church of England, both during and after Jewel’s lifetime. It will take an interdisciplinary approach by considering both literary and historical points of view, thus subjecting this important figure in ecclesiastical history to a closer and more diverse examination than he has received heretofore.”

Below is a draft Table of Contents:

Section One: Defining the Faith

1. Introduction (Andre Gazal, Northland International University)

2. John Jewel at Paul’s Cross: a Culture of Persuasion and England’s Emerging Public Sphere (Torrance Kirby, McGill University)

3. Jewel and the Catholics: Contested Territory (Lucy Wooding, King’s College London)

4. 1077 and All That: Pope Gregory VII in Protestant Historiography (Thomas Freeman, University of Essex)

Section Two: Defending the Faith

5. ‘A Crime So Heinous’: The Concept of Heresy in John Jewel’s Apology of the Church of England (Andre Gazal, Northland International University)

6. ‘A pretensed and counterfeit holiness’ or Sowers of ‘spiritual things’?: John Jewel and Thomas Harding on Monasticism (Greg Peters, Biola University)

7. Moses the Magistrate: The Mosaic Theological Imaginary of John Jewel and Richard Hooker in Elizabethan Apologetics (Paul Dominiak, Durham University)

8. Politics, Precedent, and History in Responses to Queen Elizabeth’s Excommunication (Aislinn Muller, University of Cambridge)

9. ‘A new understanding of private’: The Private Mass Controversy in Post-Reformation England (Eoin Price, University of Birmingham)

10. Catholic Innovation of Sacramental Life in Elizabethan England (Laura Verner, King’s College London)

11. Edwin Sandys and the defence of the faith:  ‘I think it my duty to exhort you … defend the faith of Christ even until blood and unto death’ (Sarah Bastow, Huddersfield University)

Section Three: Reception and Significance

12. The Jewel-Harding Controversy: Defending the Champion (Angela Ranson, University of York)

13. ‘Silence is a Fine Jewel for a Woman’: Anne Cooke Bacon, John Jewel, and Reformed Women’s Publications (Alice Ferron, University College London)

14. The Use and Abuse of John Jewel in Richard Hooker’s Defence of the English Church (Brad Littlejohn, the Davenant Trust)

15. Defending Reformation Anglicanism: The Bishop Jewel Society at Oxford University 1947-1975 (Andrew Atherstone, Oxford University)

Conclusion: John Jewel and the Church of England (Sarah Bastow, Huddersfield University)

Appendix: Laurence Humphrey and the Construction of John Jewel (Angela Ranson, University of York)