"Herbert Thorndike and the Covenant of Grace"
Journal of Ecclesiastical History 58, No. 3 (July 07)
"Fasting, Piety, and Political Anxiety among French Reformed Protestants"
Raymond A. Mentzer
Church History 76, No. 2 (June 07)
Early Protestant theologians and ecclesiastical leaders were highly critical of the fasts which pervaded the medieval Christian world. Still, the tradition did not entirely disappear with the Reformation. The followers of John Calvin continued to hold public fasts, albeit in far more restrained fashion. In keeping with their theological understandings, liturgical fasting among Reformed congregations had a more transcendent quality than in the medieval church. When members of the Reformed Churches of France gathered at their temples to celebrate a fast, the focus was less the denial of sustenance to their human bodies than the spiritual nourishment of their souls through prayer, psalm singing, sermons and readings from Holy Writ. The occasion was always a “difficult matter of great importance,” typically a great calamity such as famine or pestilence, persecution or war. The status of French Protestants as members of a hard-pressed, frequently persecuted religious minority lent the fast special meaning within their community. French Reformed churches adapted fasting to the collective expression of their grave concerns in the political sphere. They employed it to demonstrate loyalty to the Catholic crown as well as to bring the faithful together when threatened by the royal government and Catholic Church. This ancient devotional ritual ultimately became a powerful instrument for shaping religious identity and fostering cohesion within a deeply anxious body of believers.
"Royal Ecclesiastical Supremacy and the Restoration Church"
Historical Research 80, Issue 209 (Aug 07)
Past and Present 195, No. 1 (May 07)
The Historical Journal 50, No. 2 (June 07)
Journal of British Studies 46, No. 4 (Oct 07)
Journal of British Studies 46, No. 3 (Jul 07)