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Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Publisher: Oxford UP
Date of Publication: 2001
Binding: paperback
Condition: Near Fine
Description: xvi,387pp. illus 0198208871 Binding tight, text unmarked ~No ownership marks
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Providence In Early Modern England Paperback – 15 Mar 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, U.S.A.; New Ed edition (15 Mar. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198208871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198208877
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 2.3 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,501,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


an extraordinarily ambitious work...readers will keep turning the pages eagerly with mingled awe, fascination, and, yes, a keen sense of timeliness. This is a book about the past that resonates in the present. (History Today)

In this wise and superbly illustrated book, Alexandra Walsham recalls the world where Calvinism met medieval religion ... Walsham pleasingly eschews postmodern indulgence of the fatuousness of past belief. She writes with a sure grasp of Reformation theology, and clearly had great fun with this book ... we can never again think of Protestantism as dour and dull, now that Alexandra Walsham has introduced us to a pamphlet alerting the godly public to the discovery of A most strange and wonderful herring. (Diarmaid MacCulloch, Times Literary Supplement)

About the Author

Alexandra Walsham is at University of Exeter.

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Format: Paperback
This is a book by a young scholar engaging with old (if still lively) debates. How to balance continuity as against change in the long history of the Reformation? What's the evidential value of oral/visual as against literate culture, or of collective public manifestations of belief as against private writings? This is a book that eschews, and defies, pigeonholing by alternatives. Instead, it offers the inclusive view - and does so by exposing the centrality of its theme, providentialism. Belief in the multifarious interventions of God in the world, far from being an outmoded or marginal feature of Early Modern religious culture, was "part of the mainstream". Thanks to its ubiquity, providentialism supplied "a set of ideological spectacles" which could be put on by rich and poor, literate and illiterate, metropolitan and provincial. Early Modern England was a cultural world of fundamentally shared meanings, however varied and fluid their specific forms. The banality of providentialism was part and parcel of its inclusiveness. Walsham pursues and expands this theme in chapters packed with densely detailed information yet with never a dull page. Popular culture, that "slippery historical construct", is seen here in terms of "processes of interaction and negotiation" between producers and consumers (by eye and ear) of "cheap print and godly preaching" Though print was new, the expounding of contemporary experience through sacred texts was rooted deep in medieval practice. Wonders and portents were the staple of newsy ballads and pamphlets on the one hand, prophetic sermons on the other.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Portents, omens, and the beginnings of the tabloid press 20 Feb. 2003
By Henry Misbach - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a dense read which, after all, any Oxford University Press book likely will be. If you have ever puzzled over the motives behind seemingly random stories of strange events, births of animals and people with impossible disfigurements, you will find answers in this book. Dr. Walsham has, perhaps accidentally, explained much of the sociology of today's tabloid press by reference to its earliest beginnings in English.
Although I agree essentially with one of her conclusions, namely, that the Reformation is not the "grandsire of the Enlightenment" nor a "kind of halfway house on the road to the 'age of reason,'" I would recommend caution. I also recommend reading the final chapter of Sameuel Eliot Morison's remarkable, "The Intellectual Life of Colonial New England," in which he summarizes connections between people there and Newton, Kepler and other acknowledged players in the Scientific Revolution. Reason and scientific experimentalism have not always been in the same intellectual camp. Morison's book may be old (first published in 1936)but it is still valuable.
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