chapter  8
Changing Perspectives on the Church of England
Pages 9

It is natural that our perspective on the Church should change over time. New evidence materialises, new questions are posed, new approaches are adopted, and we need to keep reviewing common assumptions and traditional ways of thinking. It is vital to monitor the many ways in which altered perceptions of people, events, critical dates, and concepts shift and affect our whole outlook on aperiod and topic. We have seen how views of the relative merits of Elizabeth I, James I, and Charles I have changed in recent times. Hence we now look upon Elizabeth's contribution to the Church of England in less rosy terms than hitherto, see James in a more sympathetic and rational light, and despair about the political wisdom of Charles I. Likewise, many scholars now write fondly of Archbishops Grindal and Abbot, as moderate Calvinists who sought to maintain a broad Church. While some acknowledge the practical achievements of Whitgift and Bancroft, most still generally feel that something went badly wrong under William Laud.