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This prize-winning account of the pre-Reformation church recreates lay people’s experience of religion in fifteenth-century England. Eamon Duffy shows that late medieval Catholicism was neither decadent nor decayed, but was a strong and vigorous tradition, and that the Reformation represented a violent rupture from a popular and theologically respectable religious system. For this edition, Duffy has written a new Preface reflecting on recent developments in our understanding of the period.
From reviews of the first edition:
“A magnificent scholarly achievement [and] a compelling read.”—Patricia Morrison, Financial Times
“Deeply imaginative, movingly written, and splendidly illustrated. . . . Duffy’s analysis . . . carries conviction.”—Maurice Keen, New York Review of Books
“This book will afford enjoyment and enlightenment to layman and specialist alike.”—Peter Heath, Times Literary Supplement
“[An] astonishing and magnificent piece of work.”—Edward T. Oakes, Commonweal
|Pt. I||The structures of traditional religion||9|
|1||Seasons and signs : the liturgical year||11|
|2||How the plowman learned his Paternoster||53|
|6||"Lewed and learned" : the laity and the Primers||209|
|7||The devotions of the Primers||233|
|8||Charms, pardons and promises : lay piety and "superstition" in the Primers||266|
|10||The pains of purgatory||338|
|Pt. II||The stripping of the altars, 1530-1580||377|
|11||The attack on traditional religion I : from the break with Rome to the Act of Six Articles||379|
|12||The attack on traditional religion II : to the death of Henry VIII||424|
|13||The attack on traditional religion III : the reign of Edward VI||448|
|14||The impact of reform : parishes||478|
|15||The impact of reform : wills||504|
Posted April 7, 2009
This is a classic written by one of the preeminent historians of the Reformation. The first half, and pretty much the majority of the book focuses on teh Catholic Church prior to the Reformation. The last part focuses on the Reformation from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I. The book is extremely long but that is because the autor has packed into it extreme amounts of detail as well as research. This historian has done excellent research on this topic which is why the reader can be confident in the information they are getting. The author included pictures throughout the book which helps with bringing the Reformation and the Catholic religion in the 1400s to life for the reader. It also helps make the book a little less tedious to read.
Because there is so much detail contained in this book, it is a long read and can sometimes get a little tedious or slow to read. Because of this, I would not recommend this to anyone who isn't highly interested in the Reformation.
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Posted August 20, 2005
This should be an eye-opener for anyone who believes that reformation of the church in England was necessary in the 1530s. Professor Duffy's extensive review of the religiously integrated world-view of the English people suggests that it was, for the time, both vital and possessed of the capacity for growth and evolution. Under such circumstances, it is difficult to escape his conclusion that the Reformation was indeed something alien and imposed from outside. His recounting of the latter's history is also an instruction about what happens when an intellectual elite (in this case, university theologians) is allowed to impose its conclusions on a society.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 29, 2012
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