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The Reformation of the English Parish Church

$113.00 (C)

  • Date Published: April 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521762861

$ 113.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In the sixteenth century, the people of England witnessed the physical transformation of their most valued buildings: their parish churches. This is the first ever full-scale investigation of the dramatic changes experienced by the English parish church during the English Reformation. By drawing on a wealth of documentary evidence, including court records, wills and church wardens' accounts, and by examining the material remains themselves - such as screens, fonts, paintings, monuments, windows and other artefacts - found in churches today, Robert Whiting reveals how, why and by whom these ancient buildings were transformed. He explores the reasons why Catholics revered the artefacts found in churches as well as why these objects became the subject of Protestant suspicion and hatred in subsequent years. This richly illustrated account sheds new light on the acts of destruction as well as the acts of creation that accompanied religious change over the course of the 'long' Reformation.

    • Richly illustrated with over 70 images and a colour plate section which show readers how the impact of the Reformation remains visible today
    • Based on a wealth of documentary sources
    • Will appeal to a broad range of scholars of early modern British history, ecclesiastical history and Reformation studies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...a lavishly illustrated follow-up to his 1998 book Local Responses to the English Reformation." -H-Albion, Katherine French

    "The modest title of this book conceals the fact that Robert Whiting has provided a cutting-edge contribution to the study of the English Reformation… [It] looks at the material evidence, the mute but eloquent testimony of the thousands of parish churches still standing from before the 16th century. Reflecting recent historical interest in material culture, the text adds an important dimension to the Reformation debate." -Lucy Wooding, Times Higher Education

    "We can stand back and marvel at the scope of the author's achievement … Now we discover what Dr Whiting has spent the past 12 years doing: acquiring an amazingly detailed knowledge of England's parish churches, and of how they changed between 1530 and 1640, so that he can read the story of the Reformation as it was inscribed in those churches' fabric … This is a book which will be enjoyed most as a box of treasures, a guide to the marvels still hidden away in England's parish churches … As a guide to what survives, to what was lost, and why, this book has no rival." -Alec Ryrie, The Tablet

    "Robert Whiting’s meticulous investigation of these changes [to the interiors of parish churches]offers both in-depth descriptions of these works of art, furniture, and other goods as well as analyses of the motivations that led parishioners to jettison once favored objects while they embraced new ones... a valuable guide to the material transformations of England’s parish churches over many decades, with abundant details about artifacts themselves as well as the churchwardens, donors, artisans, and other people who effected or resisted these alterations." - Kathleen Kamerick, Journal of British Studies

    "meticulously researched, packed with useful information, and beautifully illustrated." -Peter Marshall, Times Literary Supplement

    "a wonderful guidebook to the various and often unfamiliar aspects of the interior design and decor of English churches during the Reformation that will be of use to scholars and students alike." -Ronald H.Fritze, The Historian

    "In answer to that age-old undergraduate question of what English churches looked like before the Reformaion, Robert Whiting provides elegant answers lavishly illustrated with his own photographs. This book, intended for the student and general reader as opposed to the professional academic, opens the doors of parish churches to the art, architecture, and material culture of English Catholicism and Protestantism." -Jennifer Mori, Canadian Journal of History

    "...this book is an interesting and useful study of both continuity and change in one of the central institutions of life in Tudor England." -Karl Gunther, The Journal of Modern History

    "...a captivating study of the material culture of Reformation-era Christianity in England." -Daniel MacLeod, Studies in Religion / Sciences Religieuses

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521762861
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 197 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.88kg
    • contains: 60 b/w illus. 12 colour illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Defining the spaces: screens
    2. Presenting the sacrifices: altars
    3. Washing the sins: fonts
    4. Serving the sacraments: plate
    5. Adorning the rites: cloth
    6. Providing the words: books
    7. Preserving the treasures: receptacles
    8. Depicting the faith: paintings
    9. Lighting the darkness: glass
    10. Embodying the holy: images
    11. Creating the music: organs and bells
    12. Conveying the message: pulpits and seats
    13. Raising the levels: galleries
    14. Recalling the dead: memorials

  • Author

    Robert Whiting, University of York St John
    Robert Whiting is Principal Lecturer in History at the University of York St John. His previous publications include The Blind Devotion of the People (1989) and Local Responses to the English Reformation (1998).

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