Enemies of the Godly


in The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780199216505
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191711947 | DOI:
Enemies of the Godly

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The preceding chapters used dialogues and other texts as tools towards an investigation of grass-roots religious attitudes in post-Reformation England. It has shown that the views expressed by literary characters replicated in the real world of English parishes, and the arguments and hostilities of the texts repeated in streets, shops, and alehouses — and in churches. This chapter argues that the authors of the texts were not anthropologists or sociologists, trying to describe the thoughts and habits of the people around them. They were evangelists and polemicists: they wrote at particular times, in particular contexts, and for particular purposes. The books have political contexts and objectives, as well as their more obvious religious purposes — and their characters were deliberately created to serve political ends.

Keywords: evangelists; literary characters; religious attitudes; polemicists; political objectives

Chapter.  8803 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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