THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
by John Jewel
John Jewel (1522-1571), Bishop of Salisbury, stands as one of the leading architects and perhaps the staunchest defender of the Protestant Church of England. Writing in 1562 when the Elizabethan church was yet young and fragile, and menaced by Catholic foes at home and abroad, Jewel proudly proclaimed the independence of the English church from Roman rule, and the deep catholicity of its reformation.
Appealing throughout to the testimonies of the Church Fathers, Jewel made a powerful case that the Protestants were not heretics or innovators, but genuine reformers, restoring the church to the purity of apostolic practice and proclaiming anew the “faith once delivered to the saints.” Along the way, he refutes common misunderstandings or caricatures of Protestant teaching, and takes the offensive against what he sees as the tyrannical power of the medieval papacy.
The result is a ringing defense of the English Reformation that became an instant classic, integral to the theological self-understanding of the Church of England and to the Anglican Communion that later developed from it. It remains essential reading today for Anglicans—or any English-speaking Protestants—seeking to better understand and articulate their relation to the church’s biblical roots, catholic tradition, and sixteenth-century renewal.
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Editor: Andre Gazal (Ph.D, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is Vice President of Academic Affairs at Montana Bible College, and has also served as the assistant project editor for the Reformation Commentary on Scripture. A specialist in the English Reformation, Andre is the author of Scripture and Royal Supremacy in Tudor England: The Use of Old Testament Historical Narrative (Edwin Mellen Press, 2013) and editor of Defending the Faith: John Jewel and the Elizabethan Church (PSU Press, 2018). Among much else, he has published numerous articles and essays on the theology of the English Reformers. He lives in Montana with his wife, Agata, and son, George.
Editor: Robin Harris (M.A. University of Kansas, B.A. New St. Andrews College) was the Director of Children’s Ministries at an Anglican church in Raleigh, North Carolina from 2011-2019. A midwest native who has had extended jaunts in the Northwest and South, she now lives in Queens, NYC. She blogs at thefairytalerealist.wordpress.com and teaches classes online at robinjharris.com.
The Library of Early English Protestantism (LEEP) is a multi-year project that aims to make available in scholarly but accessible editions seminal writings from key but neglected 16th and 17th-century Church of England theologians. This project intends to bring old resources to a new audience, specifically for those Reformed and Anglican readers seeking to deepen and broaden their understanding of their theological tradition. The purpose of LEEP is to make the rediscovery of these sources as easy as possible by providing affordable, comprehensively-edited, modernized-spelling editions for contemporary seminarians, clergy, students, and theologically-concerned laypeople.
PRAISE FOR THIS WORK
"No text was more important than Bishop Jewel's Apologia for the newly independent Church of England in the late sixteenth century. This elegant and readable new edition makes it once more readily available for a new generation. Its recovery is long overdue, and this edition will be an excellent resource for studying the roots of Anglicanism in the Protestant Reformation."
- Gerald Bray
Research Professor of Divinity
Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
"Against the undying myth that the Church of England came into being only to satisfy the political ambitions of King Henry VIII, 'The Apology of the Church of England' demonstrates that genuine reform was at the heart of England's split from Rome. The expansive and comprehensive learning of the Bishop of Salisbury, John Jewel, illustrates that the first generation of Reformers in England were fully able to do intellectual battle with their Roman Catholic adversaries. Jewel argues for reform of the inherited Catholic tradition, not because it was wrong in its entirety, but because it had been twisted. We are reminded of why, in its day, the Apology was considered such a tour de force.
More accessible than older editions, and featuring enumerated sections and updated footnotes, this modernized edition of Jewel's 'Apology' is long-awaited. I hope it is a bestseller."
- Roberta Bayer, Ph.D,
"C.S. Lewis once said that for every new book you read, you should read an old one. If you’ve read a new book on Anglicanism, then the Apology is the old one you should read next. It is a definitive work of the Anglican tradition, and in it Bishop Jewel shows how the English Reformation made the Church of England more truly catholic."
- Samuel L. Bray
Professor of Law at University of Notre Dame, and Co-Editor of'The 1662 Book of Common Prayer: International Edition'
MORE FROM THE DAVENANT PRESS
The Davenant Institute endeavors to restore wisdom for the contemporary church. We seek to sponsor historical scholarship at the intersection of the church and academy, build friendships and facilitate collaboration within the Reformed and evangelical world, and equip the saints with time-tested resources for faithful public witness.
Below are some of the works we've published towards that end.