The Reformation and Robert Barnes

The Reformation and Robert Barnes

History, Theology and Polemic in Early Modern England

Korey D. Maas


Boydell Press



The first extensive examination of Robert Barnes, his career, misconstrued theology and wide-ranging influence beyond England.
By the time of his death at the stake in 1540, Robert Barnes was recognized as one of the most influential evangelical reformers in Henrician England. Friend and foe alike judged him the most popular and persuasive preacher of the 'new learning'. He enjoyed the patronage of King, Archbishop, and Vicegerent at home, and the praise of evangelical princes and theologians abroad. He wrote what would be the closest the Henrician reformers came to a systematic theology, as well as the first Protestant history of the papacy. Then his dramatic, and not entirely explicable, execution quickly ensured his lasting place in the century's popular propaganda.
In this first extensive examination of Robert Barnes and his reformation significance the author provides a comprehensive survey of the reformer's stormy career, a clear and convincing analysis of his often misconstrued theology, and a persuasive argument that the influence of Barnes and his novel polemical programme extended not only into the century following his death, but was as prominent on the continent as it was in his native England.

KOREY MAAS is Associate Professor of Church History, Concordia University, Irvine, California

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April 2010
266 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Modern British Religious History
ISBN: 9781843835349
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

The Life of Robert Barnes
The Theology of Robert Barnes
History in Theology: Sentenciae and Supplications
Theology in History: Vitae Romanorum Pontificum (1536)
The Historical-Theological Programme of Robert Barnes
The Evangelical Evaluation of Barnes's Programme
Robert Barnes: His Successors and His Legacy


Represents a significant effort in rehabilitating the reputation of Barnes. . It is a substantial contribution to the field. TRINITY JOURNAL

This splendid study of Robert Barnes surpasses previous works in giving us a full and perceptive picture of a figure who [...] held an important place in the early English evangelical movement. [This] insightful work will be a definitive source on Barnes. JOURNAL OF CHURCH HISTORY

A valuable and thoughtful study of the life and writings of an important figure in the development of the early English Reformation. RELIGIOUS STUDIES REVIEW

Professor Maas is to be congratulated on a work of thorough scholarship, which has raised our awareness of this secondary figure, and filled a long standing gap in our knowledge of the English Reformation. ARCHIV FÜR REFORMATIONSGESCHICHTE

Reveals more of the interconnected nature of the international Protestant movement in its early years. THE EXPOSITORY TIMES

This is a tremendous monograph: well-researched, reliably informed, rigorously referenced and carefully nuanced. Maas not only succeeds in providing a much needed new assessment of the English Lutheran and his historical-theological programme, but opens up many new and exciting avenues for future research. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY

A complex and sophisticated analysis of [Barnes's] life, writings and the impact of his teachings in the religious and political debates of early sixteenth-century England and beyond. [...] It offers us a comprehensive study of this important figure. RENAISSANCE QUARTLERY

Korey Maas' gut lesbare, klar strukturierte und beispielgesättigte Dissertation schließt eine Forschungslücke zu einem der wichtigsten englischen Protestanten des 16. Jahrhunderts [...] Zudem gelingt es Maas [...] Robert Barnes etwas aus dem theologischen Schatten seines Ordensbruders und Freundes Martin Luther treten zu lassen. SEHEPUNKTE
This ably researched and well written book does full justice to [Barnes'] life and the writings that ensured his influence long after his death. [...] Once barely present in later Protestant historiography, Robert Barnes has now happily been accorded the recognition he surely deserved. TLS

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