Prayer Book and People in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England

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This book explores the culture of conformity to the Church of England and its liturgy in the period after the Reformation and before the outbreak of the Civil War. It provides a necessary corrective to our view of religion in that period through a serious exploration of the laypeople who conformed, out of conviction, to the Book of Common Prayer. These "prayer book Protestants" formed a significant part of the spectrum of society in Tudor and Stuart England, yet until now they have remained an almost completely uninvestigated group.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is an original, provocative, and persuasive analysis of the character of the Church of England in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries." Sewanee Theological Review

"This is an ambitious and intelligent study, which raises important questions about the 'bedding-down' of the English Reformation, and the formation of confessional identities between the accession of Elizabeth and the outbreak of civil war." Peter Marshall, 16th Century Journal

"This book is an original, provocative, and persuasive analysis of the character of the Church of England in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. In reading her book, Episcopalians will rediscover some of the reasons that The Book of Common Prayer in its many editions and revisions has been and continues to be so important to the life of the Episcopal Church and to the Anglican Communion." Sewanee Theological Review

"Maltby's exploration of the evidence for 'prayer book Protestants' between 1560 and 1640 is an important and welcome discussion." Catholic Historical Review

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; List of figures; List of tables; 1. Introduction: the good, the bad, and the godly? The laity and the established church; 2. Conformity and the church courts, c. 1570–1642; 3. The rhetoric of conformity, c. 1640–1642; 4. Sir Thomas Aston and the campaign for the established church, c. 1640–1642; 5. Parishioners, petitions, and the Prayer Book in the 1640s; 6. Conclusion: laity, clergy, and conformity in post-Reformation England; Appendix 1. Petitions for the Book of Common Prayer and episcopacy, 1640–1642; Appendix 2. Subscribing Cheshire parishes and townships, 1641; Appendix 3. Five subscribing Cheshire communities; Bibliography.

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