The Reformation of the English Parish Church

The Reformation of the English Parish Church

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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' more

Product details

  • Hardback | 284 pages
  • 186 x 248 x 28mm | 879.96g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New.
  • 60 b/w illus. 12 colour illus.
  • 0521762863
  • 9780521762861
  • 931,160

Review quote

'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 '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 ... Reflecting recent historical interest in material culture, the text adds an important dimension to the Reformation debate.' The Times Higher Education Supplement 'Robert Whiting's meticulous investigation of ... changes [to the interiors of parish churches] offers both in-depth descriptions of ... 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.' The 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 'This book is meticulously researched and carries an excellent bibliography.' Journal of the Catholic Archives Societyshow more

About Robert Whiting

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).show more

Table of contents

Introduction; PART I. RITUAL REQUIREMENTS: 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; PART II. ADDITIONAL COMPONENTS: 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; more

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