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Cross, Crown & Community

Religion, Government and Culture in Early Modern England 1400-1800

David J. B. Trim and Peter J. Balderstone

The values and institutions of the Christian Church remained massively dominant in early modern English society and culture, but its theology, liturgy and unity were increasingly disputed. The period was overall one of institutional conformity and individual diversity: the centrality of Christian religion was universally acknowledged; yet the nature of religion and of religious observance in England changed dramatically during the Reformation, Renaissance, and Restoration.
Further, because English culture was still biblical and English society was still religious, the state involved itself in ecclesiastical matters to an extraordinary extent. Successive political and ecclesiastical administrations were committed to helping each other, but their attempts to mould religious beliefs and customs were effectively attempts to modify English culture. Church and state were complementary, yet because they were ultimately distinct estates, they could work only, at best, uneasily in partnership with each other.
Cultural output is thus an ideal lens for examining this period of tension in the church, state and society of England. The case studies contained in this volume examine the intersection of politics, religion and society over the entire early modern period, through distinct examples of cultural texts produced and cultural practices followed.
Contents: Michael and Helen Pearson: Harry Leonard - a tribute – D. J. B. Trim/Peter J. Balderstone: Introduction: Church, state, society, and English culture in the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries – Richard K. Emmerson: Visualising the Apocalypse in late medieval England: the York Minster Great East Window – D. J. B. Trim: «Knights of Christ»? Chivalric culture in England, c.1400-c.1550 – Ralph A. Houlbrooke: Magic and witchcraft in the diocese of Winchester, 1491-1570 – Robert Surridge: «An English Laodicea»: the influence of Revelation 3:14-22 on mid-seventeenth-century England – William Lamont: The religious origins of the English Civil War: two false witnesses – Willy Maley: Divorced from reality or in the spirit of the letter? Manipulation and metaphor in Milton’s «charitable» readings of Scripture – John F. Cox: Shakespeare reworked: Davenant’s The Law Against Lovers and the cultural politics of the Restoration – Mary Trim: «Awe upon my heart»: children of dissent, 1660-1688 – Keith A. Francis: «An Absurd, a Cruel, a Scandalous, and a Wicked [Bill]»: the Church of England and the (Clandestine) Marriage Act of 1753 – Penny Mahon: Awakening the horror: Anna Letitia Barbauld and the anti-war movement in late eighteenth-century England.