Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England

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This is the first comprehensive study of one of the most important aspects of the Reformation in England: its impact on the status of the dead. It explores attitudes towards the dead in pre-Reformation religious culture, and traces the uncertain progress of the 'reformation of the dead' attempted by Protestant authorities who sought to stamp out belief in purgatory and associated rituals. It also provides detailed surveys of Protestant perceptions of the afterlife, of the cultural meanings of the appearance of ghosts, and of the patterns of commemoration characteristic of post-Reformation England. Together these topics constitute an important case-study in the nature and tempo of the English Reformation as an agent of social and cultural change.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...thoroughly researched and gracefully written study of changing thought and action over the century following the Henrican reforms..."—Anglican and Episcopal History

"...the first critical study of the Protestant concept of the dead and the notion of life after death in early modern England. Primarily researched from tract and sermon literature, this sharply focused and surprisingly readable account of the 'death of purgatory' is an original and important contribution to English Reformation studies. Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England should be included in all academic collections on Tudor-Stuart England."— HISTORY: Reviews of New Books

"A model of wide-ranging historical scholarship. This type of scholarly approach makes Marshall's text useful to any student of Reformation." — The Historian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199273720
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/9/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 358
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Marshall is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Warwick.

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Table of Contents

1. The Presence of the Dead: Memory and Obligation before the Reformation
2. Debates over the Dead: Purgatory and Polemic in Henrician England
3. 'Rage against the Dead': Reform, Counter-Reform, and the Death of Purgatory
4. The Regulation of the Dead: Ritual and Reform in the English Church, c.1560-1630
5. The Estate of the Dead: The Afterlife in the Protestant Imagination
6. The Disorderly Dead: Ghosts and their Meanings in Reformation England
7. Remembering the Dead: Commemoration and Memory in Protestant Culture
Bibliography of Printed Primary Sources

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