In 1645, as the First Civil War approached its end, a secondReformation took place which created profound dislocations in religion and inBritish society. The Church was disestablished,and godly puritan practices promoted in parish churches and everyday life. Some clergy and parishioners embraced change; others were horrified, experiencing these astimes of madness and trouble. Historians continue to debate the extent of the socialdisruption that resulted, and the impact of godly ideals.Â
With an introduction from Professor Bernard Capp, pre-eminentsocial historian of the period, this collection of essays assesses interregnumreligious practice at ground level, based on a sophisticated understanding ofthe complex and unique pattern of record-keeping and survival from theperiod. Each chapter takes an originalapproach, using a specific local or institutional case study or previously under-examinedsource from England, Scotland or Wales. In the process, we see how ever-evolving national initiatives met localspaces, local traditions and individual personal agendas. We see the tensionsproduced by the emergence of religious plurality in a society still yearningfor social conformity under a uniform practice of religion, the forces forinclusion and exclusion, of acceptance of or estrangement from godly religion.