Textual representations of Greek Christianity during the English Reformations

Anastasia Stylianou

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Early modern Anglo-Hellenic relations have received little scholarly attention; however, Greek Christianity had a significant influence on the English Reformations. This article analyzes sixteenth-century English textual contacts with, and constructions of, Greek Christianity. It highlights the importance of Greek Christian history (from the patristic era to the fall of Constantinople) to reformers across the confessional spectrum, and investigates the various uses of this history in justifying or criticizing England's break with Rome, focusing upon the government's propaganda tracts of the 1530s, Reginald Pole's De Unitate, and John Foxe's Acts and Monuments. It also examines the Venetian-Greek Nicander Nucius's depiction of the Henrician Reformation in his autobiography, exploring how this unique account was shaped by Nicander's religious beliefs. Eastern Christianity must be incorporated into historical narratives of the English Reformations in order to understand fully the confessional debates, encounters, and identities of the period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-54
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Reformation
  • Greek Christianity
  • Greek Orthodox
  • Eastern Christianity
  • Early modern history
  • British history
  • English history
  • Confession
  • Migration

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