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The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain$
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Polly Ha and Patrick Collinson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264683

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264683.001.0001

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Erasmus or Calvin? The Politics of Book Purchase in the Early Modern English Parish

Erasmus or Calvin? The Politics of Book Purchase in the Early Modern English Parish

(p.39) 3 Erasmus or Calvin? The Politics of Book Purchase in the Early Modern English Parish
The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain

John Craig

British Academy

This chapter notes that the purchase of books alone misrepresents the readership and reception of continental reform in English parishes. For instance, it argues that the demands of the laity for work by Genevan reformers should be viewed alongside the concerns of parish administration as well as other purchases, such as occasional prayers. It is now evident that English Reformation was not simply an act of state as maintained by traditional accounts. New narratives focus attention on how lay reception shaped the nature of reformation, instead of quantifying reform through numbers in favour of or in resistance to the movement. Negotiation was a common practice for lay men and women, whether through the selective support of reform to suit individual interests, through the agitation for more zealous reform, or through the redefinition of orthodoxy in puritan communities.

Keywords:   Genevan reformers, parish administration, English Reformation, lay reception, puritan communities

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