Self-serving lackey, self-deceiving puppet, Swiss Protestant partisan, or sensible Erasmian humanist: which, if any, was Thomas Cranmer? For centuries historians have offered often bitterly contradictory answers. Although Cranmer was a key participant in the changes to English life brought about by the Reformation, his reticent nature and lack of extensive personal writings have left a vacuum that in the past has too often been filled by scholarly prejudice or
presumption. For the first time, however, this book examines in-depth little used manuscript sources to reconstruct Cranmer's theological development on the crucial Protestant doctrine of justification. The author explores Cranmer's cultural heritage, why he would have been attracted to Luther's thought,
and then provides convincing evidence for the Reformed Protestant Augustinianism which Cranmer enshrined in the formularies of the Church of England. For Cranmer the glory of God was his love for the unworthy; the heart of theology was proclaiming this truth through word and sacrament. Hence, the focus of both was on the life of on-going repentance, remembering God's gracious love inspired grateful human love.
`Review from previous edition There is no doubt that the book will be an excellent source for undergraduate students of the English reformations with a special interest in the development of the doctrine of repentance.'
Dutch Review of Church History
`Scholars of all disciplines will find the book's review of early Tudor penitential theology both accurate and engaging ... Churchmen will be refreshed by a work that treats the themes of justification, election, and anthropology as serious, theological matters still worthy of discussion and debate today. Reformation scholars will welcome what may be Null's most significant contribution: an excellent scholarly description and analysis of Cranmer's
commonplace books, among other manuscript sources.'
Journal of Religious History
`Ashley Null with great industry has effected an impressive reconstruction of the development of Cranmer's doctrine of repentance ... Ashley Null's book is a valuable contribution to our knowledge of Thomas Cranmer's soteriology.'
Journal of Ecclesiastical History
`This is a scholarly and learned work, fresh and original. Null has exhausted all source material, some unpublished, and makes a significant contribution to Cranmer studies. He displays an informed, critical judgement, and reaches sound conclusions. His scholarly and helpful footnotes, most of them translated into English, are a valuable feature of the work, lending it authority and colour ... helpful summaries at the end of each chapter, and a most
informative concluding summary of the whole book.'
`A most important work.'
Introduction: The Theology of Thomas Cranmer
1: Cranmer's Medieval Inheritance: Contrition as Repentance
2: Cranmer's Doctrine of Repentance c.1520: Augustinian-Influenced Scotist Penance
3: Cranmer's Doctrine of Repentance during the 1520s: Erasmian Penitence
4: Cranmer's Doctrine of Repentance c.1537: Lutheran Sacramental Penance
5: Being Made `Right-Willed' by Faith: Justification in `Cranmer's Great Commonplaces' c.1544
6: The Edwardian Years: Public Protestant Augustinianism