Britain’s Wars of Religion

by Nick

You’ve probably seen this already since various other early modern blogs have mentioned it, but just in case not there is a conference being held in Hull in July 2008 on the “Morrill thesis” – that, as John Morrill famously said in a lecture to the Royal Historical Society:

The English civil war was not the first European revolution: it was the last of the wars of religion.

Morrill’s argument was that only religion was really effective in explaining the forces that drove men – he did not mention women at the time – to take allegiance with one side or another, or indeed neither. 25 years on, it will be interesting to set this in the context of other developments in the historiography: the post-revisionist insistence that conflict did exist in early seventeenth century England, the work on the British and Atlantic context of the wars, and the renewed focus on class, gender and other analytical categories through which identities are constructed. The list of speakers is very distinguished so it should prove something of a watershed for future historiography – hopefully the papers will eventually be published.