Book

The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

Christopher Haigh

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780199216505
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191711947 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216505.001.0001

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

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What did ordinary people believe in post-Reformation England, and what did they do about it? This book looks at religious belief and practice through the eyes of five sorts of people: godly Protestant ministers, zealous Protestant laypeople, the ignorant, those who complained about the burdens of religion, and the Catholics. Based on 600 court and visitation books from three national and twelve local archives, it cites what people had to say about themselves, their religion, and the religions of others. How did people behave in church? What did they think of church rituals? What did they do on Sundays? What did they think of people of other faiths? How did they get along together, and what sort of issues produced tensions between them? What did parishioners think of their priests and what did the clergy think of their people? Was everyone seriously religious, or did some people mock or doubt religion? If these questions have been tackled before, it has usually been by way of claims about what the common people believed in books written by members of the educated ranks about their contemporaries. In contrast, by going directly to other sources of evidence such court records and parish complaints, this book illuminates what ordinary people actually said and did.

Keywords: post-Reformation England; religious belief; religious practice; Protestants; Catholics; court records; parish complaints

Book.  296 pages. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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Table of Contents

The Preacher and his People in The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

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Theologus: Pastor of a Flock in The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

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Asunetus: Ignorance is Bliss in The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

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Asunetus: Why All the Fuss? in The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

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Philagathus: Godly Living in The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

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Philagathus: The Godly and the Rest in The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

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Antilegon: Attitudes to Authority in The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

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Antilegon: Scoffing at the Sacred in The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

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The Papist: Outside the Church, Inside the Community in The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

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