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The Post-Reformation: Religion, Politics and Society in Britain, 1603-1714 [Paperback]

John Spurr

Price: 28.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

22 Jun 2006 0582319064 978-0582319066 1

The 17th century was a dynamic period characterized by huge political and social changes, including the Civil War, the execution of Charles I, the Commonwealth and the Restoration. The Britain of 1714 was recognizably more modern than it was in 1603. At the heart of these changes was religion and the search for an acceptable religious settlement, which stimulated the Pilgrim Fathers to leave to settle America, the Popish plot and the Glorious Revolution in which James II was kicked off the throne.

This book looks at both the private aspects of human beliefs and practices and also institutional religion, investigating the growing competition between rival versions of Christianity and the growing expectation that individuals should be allowed to worship as they saw fit.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Post-Reformation: Religion, Politics and Society in Britain, 1603-1714 + The Age of Reformation: The Tudor and Stewart Realms 1485-1603 (Religion, Politics and Society in Britain) + Early Modern England: A Social History 1550-1760 (Hodder Arnold Publication)
Price For All Three: 75.97

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Review of the first three books in the Religion, Politics and Society in Britain series:
''All three writers have made distinguished contributions to the specialist literature and, on the basis of these books, this will prove a most promising series intellectually, as well as one that offers much to students.''

Jeremy Black, Professor of History, Exeter University

From the Back Cover

Religion, Politics and Society in Britain
Series Editor: Keith Robbins

Throughout the history of Britain religion has been a potent and influential force, permeating social and political life at many different levels. Yet it has often been written about in restricted institutional terms without accounting for the ways in which religious belief and practice have been bound up with wider social and political developments. Religion, Politics and Society in Britain shifts the focus on this complex and fluctuating relationship and investigates the changing role of religion in British life from 600 AD to the present.

The seventeenth century was an age of religious experimentation, controversy and conflict. Religious values and institutions had been shaken by the English and Scottish Reformations of the previous century. As England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland turned into ‘Great Britain’, the Reformation gave way to the Post-Reformation, rife with competition between rival versions of Christianity.


Religion was at the heart of both political action and social thought. John Spurr reveals religion as the driving force of events through the reigns of the first Stuarts, the Civil War and execution of Charles I, the Commonwealth and the Restoration, the Popish plot, the Glorious Revolution which kicked James II off the throne, and the years of war under William and Anne. Vivid quotations and a compelling narrative bring these tumultuous events to life.


While some seventeenth-century Britons valued their own faith above all else, others saw belief and worship as part of the social and cultural fabric. Professor Spurr explores the nature of parish life and church administration and deftly reconstructs how ordinary people practiced religion in their everyday lives. He shows how and why religion still mattered to everyone in these islands.


John Spurr is Professor of History at the University of Swansea. He is the author of The Restoration Church of England 1646-1689 (1991), English Puritanism, 1603-1689 (1998), and England in the 1670s: ‘This Masquerading Age’ (2000).



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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Text Book 31 Dec 2008
By Quentin D. Stewart - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Spurr details the impact political developments had on religion and the impact religion had on politics in England, Scotland and Ireland during the reigns of James I, Charles I, the Civil Wars, the Commonwealth, Charles II, James II, William III and finally Anne. Most attention is given to England, much less to Scotland and Ireland is treated in passing with an occasional nod to the oppressed Catholic majority. The book reads like a text book and is not necessarily a pleasurable read, but Spurr is aware of the latest scholarly developments and amply notes the most important political details of each monarch's reign. A great deal of attention is given to Non-conformists and Dissent and the slow but steady march towards tolerance. The second part of the book details religious life in Britain. The book has the advantage of treating religion in the sixteenth century as an integral part of Britain's political and social life, but this is also a disadvantage in that I would have preferred a more thorough analsyis of religion given that the title of the book is "Post-Reformation."
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