This paper will take up and expand recent arguments concerning the need to contextualize the More/Tyndale Polemic within larger currents of thought both pre- and post-Reformation. The paper will argue that two longstanding debates in the English Christian context both persist and intensify in the Tyndale/More exchange: different construals of how ecclesial authority orders Christian thinking about fate, fortune and providence, and also the role of tutored and untutored Christian intuition when it comes to merging the hermeneutical horizons of Biblical authorship with doctrinal belief among lay Christians.
October 31st 2017 will mark 500 years since the publication of Luther’s Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum, an event held to be the starting point of the 16th-century religious and political upheavals known as the Reformation. Scholarship has examined medieval roots of Reformation thought, and works such as Bolton’s The Medieval Reformation (1983) and Hudson’s The Premature Reformation (1988) see relationships between medieval heretical movements and Reformation theology. This paper will discuss how criticisms of religious institutions in medieval poetry may be seen to anticipate conventions of Reformation thought, particularly in relation to William Langland’s Piers Plowman and the Lutheran Principles of sola fide and sola scriptura.