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Other titles in the Religion, Politics, and Society in Britain series:
The Post-Reformation: Religion, Politics and Society in Britain, 1603-1714by John Spurr
Synopses & Reviews
Religion, Politics and Society in Britain
Series Editor: Keith Robbins
Throughout the history of Britain religion has been a potent and influential force, permeating social and political life at many different levels. Yet it has often been written about in restricted institutional terms without accounting for the ways in which religious belief and practice have been bound up with wider social and political developments. Religion, Politics and Society in Britain shifts the focus on this complex and fluctuating relationship and investigates the changing role of religion in British life from 600 AD to the present.
The seventeenth century was an age of religious experimentation, controversy and conflict. Religious values and institutions had been shaken by the English and Scottish Reformations of the previous century. As England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland turned into Great Britain, the Reformation gave way to the Post-Reformation, rife with competition between rival versions of Christianity.
Religion was at the heart of both political action and social thought. John Spurr reveals religion as the driving force of events through the reigns of the first Stuarts, the Civil War and execution of Charles I, the Commonwealth and the Restoration, the Popish plot, the Glorious Revolution which kicked James II off the throne, and the years of war under William and Anne. Vivid quotations and a compelling narrative bring these tumultuous events to life.
While some seventeenth-century Britons valued their own faith above all else, others saw belief and worship as part of the social and cultural fabric. Professor Spurr explores the nature of parish life and church administration and deftly reconstructs how ordinary people practiced religion in their everyday lives. He shows how and why religion still mattered to everyone in these islands.
John Spurr is Professor of History at the University of Swansea. He is the author of The Restoration Church of England 1646-1689 (1991), English Puritanism, 1603-1689 (1998), and England in the 1670s: This Masquerading Age (2000).
Book News Annotation:
Writing for general readers and students as much as for specialists in the period, Spurr (history, U. of Swansea) sidesteps the question of whether the Protestant Reformation succeeded or not, to focus on the reality of religious belief and behavior during the 17th century. He traces the interaction between religion and politics from the reign of James I through the Commonwealth and Protectorate to the reign of William III and Anne. Then he considers religion in relation to society, community, and church.
Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Book News Annotation:
Writing for general readers and students as much as for specialists in the period, Spurr (history, U. of Swansea) sidesteps the question of whether the Protestant Reformation succeeded or not, to focus on the reality of religious belief and behavior during the 17th century. He traces the interaction between religion and politics from the reign of James I through the Commonwealth and Protectorate to the reign of William III and Anne. Then he considers religion in relation to society, community, and church. Annotation Â©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The 17th century was a dynamic period characterized by huge political and social changes, including the Civil War, the execution of Charles I, the Commonwealth and the Restoration. The Britain of 1714 was recognizably more modern than it was in 1603. At the heart of these changes was religion and the search for an acceptable religious settlement, which stimulated the Pilgrim Fathers to leave to settle America, the Popish plot and the Glorious Revolution in which James II was kicked off the throne.
This book looks at both the private aspects of human beliefs and practices and also institutional religion, investigating the growing competition between rival versions of Christianity and the growing expectation that individuals should be allowed to worship as they saw fit.
In the tumultuous seventeenth century religion was the crucial mainspring of action. This book examines how religion affected the day to day life of British people as well as society and politics on a much wider scale.
About the Author
John Spurr is Professor of History at the University of Swansea. He is the author of The Restoration of The Church of England 1646-1689 (Yale U.P., 1991), English Puritanism, 1603-1689 (Palgrave, 1998), and England in the 1670s: This Masqerading Age(Blackwell, 2000). He has edited volume 1 (1677-85) of the forthcoming Roger Morrices Entring Book, the last great unpublished seventeenth-century diary. He is at work on a history of oaths and swearing in the early modern period.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Post-Reformation
1. England, Ireland and Scotland in 1603
Part 1: Religion and Politics
2. James I (1603-25)
3. Charles I (1625-38)
4. Civil War and Revolution (1638-49)
5. The Commonwealth and Protectorate (1649-60)
6. Charles II (1660-85)
7. James II, Revolution and Toleration (1685-9)
8. William III and Anne (1689-1714)
Part 2: Religion and Society
9. The Evidence of Religion
10. Church and Community
12. Religion Outside the Church
Conclusion: Post-Reformation Britain
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