Conversion, Politics and Religion in England, 1580-1625

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The Reformation was, in many ways, an experiment in conversion. English Protestants urged a change from popery to the Gospel, while Catholics persuaded people from heresy and schism to unity. Michael Questier's meticulous study concentrates on the experience of individual converts, but also investigates the political implications of conversion. By discovering how people were exhorted to change religion, how they experienced conversion, and how they faced demands for Protestant conformity, this book develops a fresh view of the English Reformation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Questier's book is full of insights and careful explanations that begin to make sense of a complex period in English History." Erick Kelemen, The Sixteenth Century Journal

"...this work valiantly tackles questions largely ignored by Reformation historians....this book is an important contribution to English religious history." Ben Lowe, History

"Dr. Questier has written an interesting and provocative book which should be read by anyone working in the era of Elizabethan and Jacobean religious history." Catholic Historical Review

"Questier's challenging study might be seen as an extended meditation on the meaning of that surprising episode." Albion

"Questier advances a subsidiary argument concerning the efficacy of the anti-Catholic legislation and the machinery of state repression in bringing about conformity to the established religion." Paul Seaver, Albion

"His highly original and thought-provoking book deserves careful reading." Rachel Weil, Jrnl of Church & State

"An excellent contribution to the growing literature on religious conversion in early modern Europe. [Questier] demonstrates convincingly that when both political and religious motives were involved in the decision to convert, neither can easily be subordinated to the other." Susan Rosa, Religious Studies Review

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: the politics of conversion 1580–1625; 2. Conversion and polemical theology; 3. The experience of change of religion; 4. Change of religion and the end of polemic; 5. The Church under the law: the regime and the enforcement of conformity; 6. 'Heresy is dead and policy is the life of religion': State, church, conversion and conformity; 7. 'The common people still retain a scent of the Roman perfume': conversion and the proselytiser; 8. Conclusion.

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