The Christian's ABC: Catechisms and Catechizing in England C.1530-1740

By Ian Green | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 1 Catechisms and Catechetical Material Produced, Used, or Recommended for Use in England, c. 1530-1740

Introduction

THIS Appendix was designed with two purposes in mind. First of all, it was hoped to provide for the first time a list of all the works written or published in England between c. 1530 and 1740 which have been or might be called catechisms, arranged alphabetically by author or where a form was anonymous the first word of the title. Such a list would provide its own justification, as a quick-reference guide to the catechetical writings of a particular author or to the short title, date, number of editions, or short-title reference number of a particular form or group of forms that a scholar had encountered or wished to pursue. It might also help librarians to track down the authors of anonymous works in their care. It is surprising, for example, how many libraries have a copy of a very popular form published anonymously by Thomas Marshall--The catechism set forth in the Book of Common Prayer briefly explained-- but file it under C (it can quickly be recognized by not only the title but also the illustration of the Sheldonian Theatre on the cover and the imprimatur of 20 March 1678 by the vice-chancellor of Oxford on the reverse of the title-page). However, it was also hoped that such a list would facilitate research into various aspects of early modern history: ecclesiastical, theological, devotional, educational, social, political, or literary. In my own case it was a broad analysis of the quantity, quality, and chronological distribution of such works, and a general comparison of the products of one era with those of another that attracted me. But the information given here should enable those who are interested in finding out what catechetical works are known to have been used in a specific decade or area, or were of a particular size, or related to a particular aspect such as treatment of the Ten Commandments or the sacraments, to track these down by a few minutes' careful scanning of the appropriate columns. The following notes are designed both to explain the methods and terms used in describing the works listed, and to describe the types of information contained in the different columns.

Before describing what has been included in this Appendix, it may be helpful to draw readers' attention again to the method used here to track down catechisms (see above, pp. 48, 50-8), since other scholars may find alternative means of tracking down catechisms. Beyond what I have said at the start of Chapter 2, I have relied on

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