The Debate Over ‘Unwritten Verities’
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The Debate Over ‘Unwritten Verities’ book
This chapter tracks the occurrences of the word Catholic' across the textual landscape of Henrician England. Catholic' word and concept was woven deeply into the liturgical and doctrinal fabric of pre-Reformation England. It describes the ways in which appeals to the Catholic' faith or Church acted as a cipher for distinctive agendas within the Henrician Church. The question of whether Henry VIII remained a Catholic after his break with Rome, and of whether the religious settlement he subsequently imposed represented Catholicism without the Pope', has long been a staple of historical and theological controversy. The chapter suggests that the religious potency of this terminology, combined with its semantic plasticity, made it an almost inevitable focus of ideological confrontation. It concerns itself solely with the reign of Henry VIII, though it is worth briefly noting that long after 1547 Catholic' remained just as freighted a term of religious controversy.