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Thomas Cranmer is one of the most famous names from one of the most important periods of English history the English reformation Many people believe that he was crucial to the reformation and high emotions run around this character Some herald him as the saviour of the Protestant religion others vilify him for splitting the unity of the church in England and undermining Catholicism However it can also be argued that Cranmers influence in carving out the religious mould for England was relatively slight in comparison to the will of the people other advisors to the king such as Thomas Cromwell or the King himself To look at it another way How would the reformation and its outcomes be different if Cranmer was removed from the equation Cranmer was appointed a fellow of Jesus College Cambridge in 1511 Cambridge University was known at this period of time for having progressive ideas when it came to religion Therefore it is not surprising that Cranmer should have been taken in by the new-thinking in religion that had spread across much of Northern Europe The chief exponent of this attitude towards Christianity was Luther in the Holy Roman Empire and due to the invention of the printing press less than a century before his books such as the 95 Thesis had been circulated around many of the academic capitals of Europe including Cambridge It is certain that Cranmer would have read Luthers literature and in 1520 he joined a group of Cambridge academics who met regularly to discuss theological problems raised by Luther Among this group were other future key reformers such as William Tyndale Robert Barnes and Thomas Bilney It is said that the members of this group were inclined to lean towards Protestantism and indeed they earned the cognomen Little Germany This is perhaps the first indicator that would show Cranmers desire to change religious practice in England By 1525 Cranmer had become more political in
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