Wabuda, Susan 1957–
Wabuda, Susan 1957–
Born January 22, 1957, in Derby, CT; daughter of Nicholas (a dairy farmer) and Ruth (a gardener) Wabuda. Education: Southern Connecticut State University, B.A., 1979; Wesleyan University, M.A., 1980; Cambridge University, Ph.D., 1992.
Home—Stamford, CT. Office—Department of History, Fordham University, 441 E. Fordham Rd., Bronx, NY 10458-5159. E-mail—[email protected]
Fordham University, New York, NY, associate professor, 1991—. Visiting professor, St. Mary's College, University of Surrey, 2001.
Royal Historical Society (fellow), North American Conference on British Studies, American Historical Association, American Society of Church History, Ecclesiastical History Society, Society for Reformation Research, Church of England Record Society (charter member).
(Contributor, and editor, with Caroline Litzenberger) Belief and Practice in Reformation England: A Tribute to Patrick Collinson from His Students, Ashgate (Brookfield, VT), 1998.
Contributor to books, including Thomas Cranmer: Churchman and Scholar, edited by David Selwyn and Paul Ayris, Boydell Press (Woodbridge, Suffolk, England), 1993; Religion and the English People, 1500-1640: New Voices, New Perspectives, edited by Eric Josef Carlson, 1998; The Beginnings of English Protestantism, edited by Peter Marshall and Alec Ryrie, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 2002; Studies in Church History, Volume 30, 1993, Volume 38, 2004. Author of articles for The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2004; Puritans and Puritanism in Europe and America: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia, edited by Francis J. Bremer and Tom Webster, ABC-Clio (Santa Barbara, CA), 2006; and for scholarly journals, including the Journal of British Studies, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, and Sixteenth Century Journal.
Susan Wabuda's book Preaching during the English Reformation examines the evolution of the sermon during the sixteenth century, beginning around 1500 and ending with the death of Edward VI in 1553. Early in that era, for example, sermon preaching was much more popular than it was in the rest of Europe owing to the strong tradition of the mendicant orders, comprised of those who preached to earn their meager livings. At the beginning of this era, only preachers could read the scripture, and sermons were generally precursors to receiving the sacraments or preached in honor of the dead. Over the years sermons slowly became a faith-building tool for the living. Concurrent with the Reformation, Bibles became more widely available and more people became literate. Some thought Bible reading by the la- ity would result in misinterpretation of the scripture and heresy. Sermons thus became a type of public dialogue in which priests and commoners were held equally accountable for correctly interpreting scripture. With the rise of an educated class, priests worried they would become obsolete, but reformers quelled those fears by urging sermons to continue, and these public lessons on religion became central to a strong community life.
Humanists, such as the Dutch theologian Erasmus, were influential in popularizing these new ideas. They angered Henry VIII, who saw himself as the rightful head of the church and thus able to interpret religious doctrine according to his own desires. During the Reformation, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's chief advisor, came to see the sermon as a powerful tool to change people's behavior and to influence politics, and he used his power to control the content of public sermons—largely by dissolving the monasteries. The next major change in preaching came with the rise of the chantries and the popularity of the devotion of the Holy Name, which, being Christocentric, appealed widely to Protestants and Catholics alike. Individuals began to endow chantries, which trained more men to give sermons, who then traveled to towns, universities, and cathedrals and preached.
Critics recognized Wabuda's strong understanding of the subject matter, not only the history itself, but also previous historians' perspective on the subject. "Wabuda's gift is her creation of a convincing picture of English preaching by applying the most reasonable aspects of each argument to her evidence," wrote Susan R. Boettcher in a review for the online journal H-Catholic. Margaret McGlynn, writing in Albion, stated that "Wabuda works hard, and usually successfully, to avoid the pitfalls of hindsight. This is not a history written from the viewpoint of the victors, but from deep in the trenches." Peter Marshall's review in Albion stated that "students and scholars of sixteenth-century English religion will welcome this fresh and engaging study, full of nuanced and subtle insight." Boettcher concluded that Preaching during the English Reformation is an "elegant and expert book" that is "deftly written and filled with fascinating detail."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Albion, spring, 2004, Peter Marshall, review of Preaching during the English Reformation, p. 111.
American Historical Review, December, 2003, Michael Questier, review of Preaching during the English Reformation, p. 1518.
Church History, December, 2000, Lori Anne Ferrell, review of Belief and Practice in Reformation England: A Tribute to Patrick Collinson from His Students, p. 900.
English Historical Review, February, 2006, L.E.C. Wooding, review of Preaching during the English Reformation, p. 291.
Historian, fall, 2004, Caroline Litzenberger, review of Preaching during the English Reformation, p. 640.
History: Review of New Books, summer, 2003, Alice Tobriner, review of Preaching during the English Reformation, p. 154.
Journal of British Studies, January, 2005, Lori Anne Ferrell, review of Preaching during the English Reformation, p. 174.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, October, 1999, Thomas Freeman, review of Belief and Practice in Reformation England, p. 791; January, 2005, Ronald H. Fritze, review of Preaching during the English Reformation, p. 107.
Journal of Modern History, September, 2005, Alec Ryrie, review of Preaching during the English Reformation, p. 762.
Reference & Research Book News, February, 1999, review of Belief and Practice in Reformation England, p. 13.
Renaissance Quarterly, summer, 2004, Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook, review of Preaching during the English Reformation, p. 707.
Sixteenth Century Journal, spring, 2004, Eric Josef Carlson, review of Preaching during the English Reformation, p. 207.
H-Albion,http://www.h-net.org/ (August, 2001), Tom Betteridge, review of Belief and Practice in Reformation England; (August, 2003), Margaret McGlynn, review of Preaching during the English Reformation.
H-Catholic,http://h-net.org/ (May, 2004), Susan R. Boettcher, review of Preaching during the English Reformation.