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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Popular Religion in Sixteenth-Century England

Holding their Peace

ISBN 9780333619902
Publication Date July 1998
Formats Hardcover Paperback Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Social History in Perspective

This book is a lively and accessible study of English religious life during the century of the Reformation. It draws together a wide range of recent research and makes extensive use of colourful contemporary evidence. The author explores the involvement of ordinary people within, alongside and beyond the church, covering topics such as liturgical practice, church office, relations with the clergy, festivity, religious fellowships, cheap print, 'magical' religion and dissent. The result is a distinctive interpretation of the Reformation as it was experienced by English people, and the strength, resourcefulness and flexibility of their religion emerges as an important theme.

CHRISTOPHER MARSH is Lecturer in History at The Queen's University of Belfast.

Layfolk within the Church
Layfolk alongside the Church
Layfolk beyond the Church
Conclusions: The Compliance Conundrum


'Students will find this book of great help...What students will find particularly valuable is the full discussion of current historiography, the strong sense of what the evidence might or might not indicate about people's motivations, and a clear overall theme. And although Marsh is generous in the attribution of ideas to other historians, he provides a distinctive synthesis of his own, from which researchers, as well as students, will profit.' - Andrew Brown, History
'His book is a masterly guide to the tortuous process by which the English learned to live with Protestantism - and even to love it - while subtly turning it to their own purposes.' - Arnold Hunt, Church Times
'The book abounds with suggestive insights and questions...This is a textbook that does not lean on other historians; it takes nothing on trust.' - R.C. Richardson, Times Higher Education Supplement
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