Conversion, Politics and Religion in England, 1580-1625
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of Pages: 260
Width: 15.9 cm
Height: 23.7 cm
The Reformation was, in many ways, an experiment in conversion. English Protestants urged conversion from popery to the Gospel, from idolatry to the true God, while Catholic polemicists persuaded people away from heresy to Catholic truth, from schism to unity. Michael Questier's meticulous study of conversion is the first to concentrate on this phenomenon from the perspective of individual converts, people who alternated between conformity to and rejection of the pattern of worship established by law. Since religion was a matter of great political importance, this book also investigates the power of the State to compel uniformity, and the success of the Protestant regime in directing dissidents to conform. By discovering how people were exhorted to change religion, how they experienced conversion, and how they faced demands for Protestant conformity, Michael Questier develops a fresh view of the English Reformation.
"Questier's book is full of insights and careful explanations that begin to make sense of a complex period in English History." Erick Kelemen, The Sixteenth Century Journal "...this work valiantly tackles questions largely ignored by Reformation historians...this book is an important contribution to English religious history." Ben Lowe, History "Dr. Questier has written an interesting and provocative book which should be read by anyone working in the era of Elizabethan and Jacobean religious history." Catholic Historical Review "Questier's challenging study might be seen as an extended meditation on the meaning of that surprising episode." Albion "Questier advances a subsidiary argument concerning the efficacy of the anti-Catholic legislation and the machinery of state repression in bringing about conformity to the established religion." Paul Seaver, Albion "His highly original and thought-provoking book deserves careful reading." Rachel Weil, Jrnl of Church & State "An excellent contribution to the growing literature on religious conversion in early modern Europe. [Questier] demonstrates convincingly that when both political and religious motives were involved in the decision to convert, neither can easily be subordinated to the other." Susan Rosa, Religious Studies Review