Academic journal article Church History

Book Review: Worship and the Parish Church in Early Modern Britain

Academic journal article Church History

Book Review: Worship and the Parish Church in Early Modern Britain

Article excerpt

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Worship and the Parish Church in Early Modern Britain . Edited by Natalie Mears and Alec M. Ryrie . St. Andrews Studies in Reformation History. Surrey, U.K. : Ashgate , 2013. 250 pp. $124.95 cloth.

Book Reviews and Notes

Despite the recent and thorough scholarly attention that the British reformations have received, there are still many lacunae within this period of interplay between religion and politics. The editors argue that the parish church is the perfect microcosm to understand how the "changes and clashes" in religion "were defined and played out" (10).

This collection draws upon the expertise of ten different historians all discussing separate pieces of corporate worship. Hannah Cleugh's essay explores the discrepancies between prescribed beliefs in the prayer books and what the congregants actually believed. Natalie Mear's essay explores liturgies and worship commissioned for special occasions to state and church. Bryan Spinks's essay concentrates on the importance of Elizabethan primers and their use between the reign Mary I and Elizabeth I. Alec Ryrie then considers how these reformations affected fasting, even changing it into a secular practice at times.

Chapters 5-7 all address some form of inquiry into the use and importance of music during this time. McCullough argues against the notion that the British reformations brought with them a hostility toward music in worship. …

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