George Gifford and the Reformation of the Common Sort

Book George Gifford and the Reformation of the Common Sort

George Gifford and the Reformation of the Common Sort Book Details:

Publisher : Penn State Press

ISBN-13 : 1935503413

Page : 204 pages

Rating : 4.5/5 from 413 voters




This careful study explores puritan attitudes through the life and works of Elizabethan minister George Gifford. He was on the front lines of religious controversies in a time when the English church was being shaped by Protestant evangelicals who felt compelled to carry their understanding of “true religion” to all corners of England. Known among themselves as “the godly” or “gospellers” and to their enemies as “puritans” or “precisionists,” these ministers believed the Church of England was only partially reformed. Gifford tried to convert the many parishioners whom he believed to be Protestant in name only, or “men indifferent” due to their acceptance of whatever religion was thrust upon them. Using archival records and Gifford's large corpus of published treatises, dialogues, and sermons, McGinnis looks at Gifford’s support and opposition in his ministry at Maldon, and his recurring conflicts with ecclesiastical authorities. He explores Gifford's writings on Catholicism, separatism, and witchcraft, and considers how Gifford’s attention to practical ministry interacted with national debates. McGinnis also analyzes Gifford's attempt to translate Protestant doctrines into a language accessible to the average layperson in his sermons and catechism. Those interested in popular religion and culture, pastoral ministry, and puritanism on both sides of the Atlantic will benefit from this study of one on the front lines of religious controversies during the turbulent years of Elizabeth's reign.

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