Angelic presence in John Foxe's Actes and monuments

Spry, M., 2021. Angelic presence in John Foxe's Actes and monuments. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This thesis examines the development of angelology during the English Reformation as understood and mediated in John Foxe's Actes and Monuments. Foxe deploys angels in various intriguing ways throughout his four editions and across two decades of the formative years of reform to explain and help shape evolving theological orthodoxy and give sense to a soteriological landscape shifting to meet increasingly apocalyptic eschatological frameworks.

The thesis critically assesses the place, role and significance of angelic presence in the emerging Protestant schema by plotting their utility to Foxe in his Actes and Monuments, not least in the exposition of Lollard, Henrician and Marian martyrdoms that feature angelic agency as central to their narrative. It examines three other tenets: Foxe's increasing use of apocalyptic constructs to define the historical framework of sixteenth-century society approaching End Times; the efficacy of placing angelic presence at the centre of confessional debates on the validity of reform programmes – contention over the real presence a principal example; and the maturation of traditional belief patterns relating to angelic protection and the guardian angel within the Protestant belief systems.

The thesis concludes that Foxe employs angels strategically to reinforce these belief systems, with his identification of martyrs who embrace angelic intervention as a validating mechanism. For Foxe, angels guide and console his readers. Angels also serve as didactic tools to oppose Catholic teachings, promote Protestant reform, and locate reform progress firmly within an apocalyptic and revelatory framework.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Spry, M.
Date: March 2021
Rights: The copyright in this work is held by the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the author.
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 30 Nov 2022 12:00
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 12:00

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