Skip to main content

Shagan, Ethan H. 1971–

Shagan, Ethan H. 1971–

(Ethan Howard Shagan)

PERSONAL:

Born November 16, 1971, in New York, NY; son of Michael D. (an attorney and business consultant) and Rena Shagan (a business owner); married Sarah Paul (a medical writer), July 18, 1998. Education: Brown University, A.B., 1994; Princeton University, M.A., 1996, Ph.D., 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Evanston, IL. Office—Department of History, Northwestern University, 9219 Harding Ave., Evanston, IL 60203.

CAREER:

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, assistant professor, 2000-04, associate professor, 2004-06, Wayne V. Jones Research Professor in History, 2006—.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, 1994; Charlotte Elizabeth Proctor Fellowship, Princeton University, 1998; Junior Fellow, Harvard University Society of Fellows, 1999; Herbert Baxter Adams Prize from the American Historical Association, Whitfield Prize from the Royal Historical Society, the Roland H. Bainton Prize from Sixteenth Century Studies, and the Morris D. Forkosch Prize from the American Historical Association, all 2004, all for Popular Politics and the English Reformation; Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 2005; E. LeRoy Hall Award for distinguished teaching, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University, 2005.

WRITINGS:

Popular Politics and the English Reformation, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2003.

(Editor and contributor) Catholics and the ‘Protestant Nation’: Religious Politics and Identity in Early Modern England, Palgrave (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributor to books, including Moderate Voices in the European Reformation, edited by Alec Ryrie and Luc Racaut, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2005; The Public Sphere in Early Modern England, edited by Steven Pincus and Peter Lake, Manchester University Press (Manchester, England), 2007; and The Monarchical Republic in Early Modern England, edited by John McDiarmid, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2007. Author of articles for scholarly journals, including the English Historical Review, Journal of British Studies, and the Journal of Ecclesiastical History. Coeditor, "Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History" series, Cambridge University Press; North American editor for Renaissance Studies; member of editorial board, Sixteenth Century Journal.

SIDELIGHTS:

Ethan H. Shagan has "established his own reputation as something of an enfant terrible among the rising generation of Tudor historians," wrote Susan Wabuda in Albion. She was referring to the commotion surrounding Shagan's first book—a revised version of his doctoral thesis—Popular Politics and the English Reformation, in which the author presents what he considers a postrevisionist account of the collaboration between the conservative English people and the government officials that resulted in a publicly negotiated Reformation. In writing the book, "Ethan Shagan set out to fire controversy and in this he will succeed," wrote Thomas F. Mayer in Albion.

Conventional wisdom states that the English Reformation was a top-down process beginning with Henry VIII's break with the Catholic Church in Rome and forced onto an unwilling public. Shagan believes the process was much more collaborative and that the common people exerted much more influence than previously supposed; thus, the Reformation took place over a longer time frame than previously believed. He analyzes several key events, including the Prebendaries Plot of 1543 in which the archbishop of Canterbury was accused of being a heretic, and the Elizabeth Barton affair in which the nun prophesied death if Henry VIII were to marry Anne Boleyn. Both the archbishop and the Nun of Kent, as Barton was known, were executed for their transgressions.

While many reviewers appreciated Shagan's fresh viewpoint and in-depth research, some tempered their praise with a note of caution. The book "exhibits some deep methodological problems," wrote Wabuda in Albion, particularly in his explanations of the terms "popular" and "politics" and his claim that his discussion of the people's role in their own governance has never before been considered, a statement that ignores well-known research that preceded Shagan's. "The evidence frequently stops short of the case Shagan wants to make," wrote Mayer. Others felt the book sufficiently addressed these concerns; K.J. Kesselring, writing in the Canadian Journal of History, concluded that "its arguments make it required reading, its lively style and engaging narrative make it a pleasure. Shagan's book ultimately offers a realistic, believable, and sobering picture of the process of reform." Alec Ryrie, writing in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, stated that "this is an important book: ambitious, provocative, and flawed."

Shagan edited and contributed to Catholics and the ‘Protestant Nation’: Religious Politics and Identity in Early Modern England, a collection of eight essays that take a postrevisionist view of English Catholicism. Topics include how Catholics dealt with the Protestantism of Elizabeth I, Catholic education, and Henry VIII's ideas of Catholicism without a pope. Altogether, "the volume achieves its stated aim of placing Catholics at the centre of post-Reformation English politics," according to W.J. Sheils in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Albion, August, 2003, Susan Wabuda, review of Popular Politics and the English Reformation; spring, 2004, Thomas F. Mayer, review of Popular Politics and the English Reformation, p. 109.

American Historical Review, February, 2004, Alexandra Walsham, review of Popular Politics and the English Reformation, pp. 249-250.

Canadian Journal of History, August, 2003, K.J. Kesselring, review of Popular Politics and the English Reformation, p. 319.

Catholic Historical Review, July, 2004, R.W. Hoyle, review of Popular Politics and the English Reformation, p. 546.

Church History, December, 2005, Lori Anne Ferrell, review of Popular Politics and the English Reformation, p. 854.

Contemporary Review, May, 2003, James Munson, review of Popular Politics and the English Reformation, p. 318; October, 2005, review of Catholics and the ‘Protestant Nation’: Religious Politics and Identity in Early Modern England, p. 250.

English Historical Review, April, 2004, G.W. Bernard, review of Popular Politics and the English Reformation, p. 447.

Historian, winter, 2004, John J. LaRocca, review of Popular Politics and the English Reformation, p. 891.

History: The Journal of the Historical Association, July, 2006, Anne Dillon, review of Catholics and the ‘Protestant Nation’, p. 454.

History Today, November, 2002, review of Popular Politics and the English Reformation, p. 68.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History, April, 2004, Alec Ryrie, review of Popular Politics and the English Reformation, p. 397; July, 2006, W.J. Sheils, Catholics and the ‘Protestant Nation’, p. 610.

Renaissance Quarterly, fall, 2004, Fritz Levy, review of Popular Politics and the English Reformation, 1117.

Sixteenth Century Journal, summer, 2004, William Wizeman, review of Popular Politics and the English Reformation, pp. 552-553.

Times Literary Supplement, January 13, 2006, Gerard Kilroy, review of Catholics and the ‘Protestant Nation’, p. 25.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Shagan, Ethan H. 1971–." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Shagan, Ethan H. 1971–." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 14, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/shagan-ethan-h-1971

"Shagan, Ethan H. 1971–." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved November 14, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/shagan-ethan-h-1971

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.