The James Ford Lectures : Kith and Kin

This Lecture will be followed by a drinks reception from 18:00-19:00 in North School


The James Ford Lectures in British History, 2018

Lecture Two: Kith and Kin

This lecture explores the extent to which England’s long Reformation was a family affair. It investigates the role of both kith and kin in the religious developments that fractured a Christian Church that had long conceived of itself as coterminous with society itself. It examines the revival of household religion and its role as both a bulwark and challenge to the ecclesiastical and political status quo. It shows that the Reformation served simultaneously to foster the creation of devout families and to spawn movements and groups that described themselves as the children of God – associeties of sisters, brothers, cousins and friends. It will also contest the suggestion that the religious developments of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were corrosive of ties of spiritual kinship and contend, on the contrary, that in complex ways they were reinforced by the advent of Protestantism.

The Reformation of the Generations: Age, Ancestry, and Memory in England c. 1500-1700

This series of lectures seeks to inject fresh energy into debates about England’s plural and protracted Reformations by adopting the concept of generation as its analytical framework. Its aim is to investigate how the tumultuous religious developments of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries not merely transformed the generations that experienced it, but also reconfigured the nexus between memory, history, and time. The lectures examine how age and ancestry were implicated in the theological and cultural upheavals of the era and explore how the Reformation shaped the horizontal relationships that early modern people formed with their siblings, kin, and peers, as well as the vertical ones that tied them to their dead ancestors and their future heirs. They highlight the important part that the family has played in shaping our knowledge of the Reformation past and in the making of its archive. They contend that religious revolution had both biological and social dimensions.