Charitable Hatred: Tolerance and Intolerance in England, 1500-1700

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Manchester University Press, Apr 15, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 388 pages
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This book offers a challenging new perspective on religious tolerance and intolerance in early modern England. Setting aside traditional models charting a linear progress from persecution to toleration, it emphasizes instead the complex interplay between these two impulses in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The book examines the intellectual assumptions that underpinned attitudes towards religious minorities and the institutional structures and legal mechanisms by which they were both repressed and accommodated. It also explores the social realities of prejudice and forbearance, hostility and harmony at the level of the neighborhood and parish. Simultaneously, it surveys the range of ways in which dissenting churches and groups responded and adapted to official and popular intolerance, investigating how the experience of suffering helped to forge sectarian identities. In analyzing the consequences of the advancing pluralism of English society in the wake of the Reformation, this study illuminates the cultural processes that shaped and complicated the conditions of coexistence before and after the Act of Toleration of 1689.

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the pursuit of uniformity
prejudice persecution and the populace

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About the author (2009)

Alexandra Walsham is Professor of Reformation History at the University of Exeter.