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The Secularization of Early Modern England : From Religious Culture to Religious Faith - C. John Sommerville

The Secularization of Early Modern England

From Religious Culture to Religious Faith

Hardcover Published: 9th April 1992
ISBN: 9780195074277
Number Of Pages: 240

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This study overcomes the ambiguity and daunting scale of the subject of secularization by using the insights of anthropology and sociology, and by examining an earlier period than usually considered. Concentrating not only on a decline of religious belief, which is the last aspect of secularization, this study shows that a transformation of England's cultural grammar had to precede that loosening of belief, and that this was largely accomplished between 1500 and 1700. Only when definitions of space and time changed and language and technology were transformed (as well as art and play) could a secular world-view be sustained. As aspects of daily life became divorced from religious values and controls, religious culture was supplanted by religious faith, a reasoned, rather than an unquestioned, belief in the supernatural. Sommerville shows that this process was more political and theological than economic or social.

"[Sommerville] sweeps generalizations from works on politics, language, anthropology, architecture, theater, and iconology into a readable and unfailingly suggestive narrative."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History "Sommerville's book is a useful summary...of the secularizing efforts of the Tudor and early Stuart governments. It also makes interesting connections between these political initiatives and some of the intellectual and artistic trends of the period."--Journal of Social History "Sommerville has worked through the most recent historiography in an astonishing range of areas from politics to literature to journalism to music to technology and work, and his clear, judicious arguments wear this learning gracefully."--CHOICE "This is a provocative and interesting book on a topic of fundamental importance to historians of early modern England. Its arguments are original and it offers a genuinely new approach to the religious history of the period."--Michael MacDonald, University of Michigan "A good supplementary reader for an undergraduate or graduate course on the Tudor-Stuart period. By relating developments in religious thought and practice to changes in science, industry, government, philosophy, language, art, and politics, Sommerville underscores the importance of ideology in understanding the historical process."--The Historian "By exploring and explaining social and cultural trends in early modern England, John Sommerville helps readers understand why various aspects of life--art, language, work, play, technology and power--became divorced from religious values."--New Horizon "It is full of individual insights, and it is written with clarity and purpose."--Times Higher Education Supplement "Sommerville's thesis is ably argued and supported by an impressive array of illustrative source-material."--The Times Literary Supplement "A worthwhile contribution to the discussion of early modern secularization and an enlightening account of the transformation of religion in early modern England."--American Historical Review "Somerville has produced a lively and original synthesis of great deal of complicated history"--Sixteenth Century Journal "[B]old and enlightening....Sommerville's account can confidently be recommended to all students of early modern England, at whatever level. They will find in it a mass of material nowhere else so finely drawn together, and an argument nowhere else so challengingly synthesised."--History Today "Thoughtful discourse."--Religious Studies Review

The Study of Secularizationp. 3
The Secularization of Spacep. 18
The Secularization of Time and Playp. 33
The Secularization of Languagep. 44
The Politics of Secularization (1529-1603)p. 55
The Secularization of Technology and Workp. 72
The Secularization of Artp. 82
The Politics of Reaction (1603-1659)p. 98
The Secularization of Powerp. 111
The Secularization of Personhood and Associationp. 129
The Secularization of Scholarship and Sciencep. 144
Religious Responses to Secularizationp. 165
Antecedents, Causes, and Conclusionsp. 178
Notesp. 189
Indexp. 221
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195074277
ISBN-10: 0195074270
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 9th April 1992
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.36 x 16.43  x 2.29
Weight (kg): 0.53