The Books of Homilies: A Critical Edition

Gerald Bray (Author)


The two Books of Homilies, along with the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal, have long been basic documents of the Church of England, and are valuable in showing how Anglican doctrine shifted during the Reformation, as well as being of considerable historical importance.The first book, published in 1547, early in the reign of Edward VI, was partly, though not entirely, the work of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, and the inspiration appears to have been his. This was intended to raise the standards of preaching by offering model ser mons covering particular doctrinal and pastoral themes, either to be read (particularly by unlicensed clergy) or to provide preachers with additional material for their own sermons.The success of the venture led Bishop EdmundBonner, who had contributed to Cranmer's book, to produce his own Book of Homilies in 1555, during the reign of Queen Mary. The Second Book of Homilies, published in 1563 (and in a revised form in 1571) appears in turn to have been influenced by both Cranmer's and Bonner's books.The present edition brings together all three books, edited and introduced by Revd Dr Gerald Bray.

Product Details

James Clarke Company
Publish Date
April 14, 2017
6.1 X 1.5 X 9.2 inches | 1.89 pounds
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About the Author

The Reverend Dr Gerald Bray (PhD, Paris-Sorbonne) was the Professor of Anglican Studies at Beeson Divinity School and is now a research professor there. He is also Director of Research at the Latimer Trust. Among his other work he is the editor of Documents of the English Reformation (James Clarke & Co, 1994, second edition 2004).


[This book] offers a valuable insight not only into the relative doctrinal positions of those on both sides of the English Reformation divide, but also into the various social ills of the period.
--Paul F. Bradshaw "Worship, Book Reviews, Volume 91, May 2017 "