Revd Dr Rob Wainwright Publishes New Book

  • Portrait of Henry VIII after Hans Holbein the Younger, c. 1537–1547
    Portrait of Henry VIII after Hans Holbein the Younger, c. 1537–1547
1 July, 2020

Oriel's Chaplain, the Revd Dr Rob Wainwright, has published his new book, Early Reformation Covenant Theology: English Reception of Swiss Reformed Thought 1520-1555, with a foreword by Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch.

Early Reformation Covenant Theology: English Reception of Swiss Reformed Thought 1520-1555 demonstrates the importance of covenant theology in the early years of the Reformation when Huldrych Zwingli, Heinrich Bullinger, and John Calvin recast late medieval conceptions of the divine pact within radical new parameters of grace alone and Scripture alone. Their ideas spread surprisingly quickly into English discourse, explaining the early emergence of Reformed theology under Henry VIII. Wainwright scrutinises the covenant thought of William Tyndale, Miles Coverdale, John Hooper, and John Bradford, questions essentially Lutheran characterisations of Henrician evangelicalism, and portrays early Reformation covenant theology as distinct from proto-Puritanism.


“The clarity of its analysis and the richness of its evidence make Robert Wainwright’s book an excellent guide to the early English Reformers encounter with the theology of Zurich and Basel, Strasbourg and Geneva.”

- Steven Gunn, Professor of Early Modern History, Merton College, University of Oxford

“A path-breaking study of covenant theology in early Tudor England.”

- Felicity M. Heal, FBA, Emeritus Fellow and Lecturer in History, Jesus College, University of Oxford

“A model for how the history of theology and the history of religious movements can be fruitfully integrated.”

- Peter Marshall, FBA, Department of History, University of Warwick

“A timely, scholarly, and persuasive reassertion of the Reformed character of the English Reformation.”

- Stephen Hampton, Dean and Senior Tutor, Peterhouse, University of Cambridge

 “Wainwright’s careful reading of the writings of the Continental Reformers . . . alongside those of the English Reformers . . . shows similarities and lines of influence in a way that has not been done before.”

- Charlotte Methuen, Professor of Ecclesiastical History, University of Glasgow

“Rides the crest of a wave of an innovative reinterpretation of the English Reformation. More than likely to set the cat among the pigeons.”

- Torrance Kirby, FRHistS, Professor of Ecclesiastical History, McGill University