The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580 / Edition 2

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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
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

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

TLS - Jonathan Bate

“It has had huge influence in departments of literature and religious studies, as well as those of history. At the same time, it has reached a broad general public interested in the Roman Catholic inheritance in Britain. Its successes came not only from Duffy’s scholarship and style, but also from Yale’s nurturing, marketing and production values, and from the responses in such places as the TLS.”—Jonathan Bate, Times Literary Supplement
Library Journal
Duffy's 1992 chronicle of religions in 15th- and 16th-century England snagged the Longman-History of Today Book of the Year Award and kudos from reviewers. This heavily illustrated edition includes a lengthy new intro by Duffy, who also updates the text. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300108286
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 4/10/2005
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 700
  • Sales rank: 314,292
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Eamon Duffy is Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Cambridge and President of Magdalene College. He is the author of Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes and The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village, both available in paperback from Yale University Press.
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Table of Contents

Pt. I The structures of traditional religion 9
1 Seasons and signs : the liturgical year 11
2 How the plowman learned his Paternoster 53
3 The Mass 91
4 Corporate Christians 131
5 The saints 155
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
9 Last things 301
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
16 Mary 524
17 Elizabeth 565
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A thorough study on the Reformation and the Catholic Religion in England by a premiere historian

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2005

    Revisionist history of the very best sort

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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