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The English Reformation and the Invention of Innovation


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Godin, Benoît (2020). The English Reformation and the Invention of Innovation Working Paper. INRS - Urbanisation Culture Société, Montréal.

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This article looks at the use of the concept of innovation in the official or state language of the Reformation in England. To be sure, “At no stage was the English Reformation an isolated act of state” (Dickens, 1982: 382). However, at the moment when the Reformation became a national project, it required instruments of enforcement. Royal proclamations were such a tool, provided they were supported by administrative and judicial procedures. This was rarely the case. Rudolph Heinze talks of Royal Proclamations as “propaganda devices” (Heinze, 1976). This statement needs to be revised. A Proclamation is a message. It provides a language that travels. It is distributed through the Church and Court hierarchy, read in the parishes and posted in public spaces. No one could ignore the message. The article looks at Royal Proclamations and Declarations, but also Acts and Statutes of Parliament, and Kings’ messages, speeches and letters, in order to unearth what the concept means, what use is made of the concept, and what ends it serves. It also examines remonstrances, petitions and protestations in Parliament, to study the reception of the language acts of Tudor and Stuart monarchs. The documents studied come from the material collected in a diverse anthology of constitutional documents. However, no anthology is complete. First, to varying degrees, every anthology covers documents selectively; second, most of the texts collected are incomplete (i.e.: extracts), with a few exceptions such as John Rushworth and James Larkin. I thus complemented this material with official documents reproduced in diverse histories and searches in Early English Books Online. British History Online and State Papers Online were also consulted. The article is not a history of the Reformation. It rather studies key moments when innovation served religious policy. The period covered is 1548-1649, namely from the first Proclamation on innovation issued by Edward VI to the end of Charles I’s reign, a reign in which the concept of innovation entered into the everyday vocabulary, and when the “humour” or “spirit” of innovation, two keys terms of the time, could not be ignored and were challenged.

Type de document: Monographie (Working Paper)
Informations complémentaires: Project on the Intellectual History of Innovation
Mots-clés libres: innovation; réforme anglaise; schisme anglican; politique religieuse
Centre: Centre Urbanisation Culture Société
Date de dépôt: 06 avr. 2022 18:13
Dernière modification: 06 avr. 2022 18:13
URI: https://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/12550

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