Radical Religion & the English Civil War
ISBN 978 1 85944 215 9 £4.00
The 1640s and 50s were among the most turbulent decades in British history. A civil war which divided families and slaughtered thousands; poor harvests and land reforms which took many to the brink of starvation; the removal of longstanding institutions like the House of Lords, the Established Church and even the monarchy itself… no wonder people thought the world was being ‘turned upside down’.
This study looks at the main groupings that emerged as people tried to make sense of the drift of events. Some of these – like Fifth Monarchists and Muggletonians – are barely remembered now, while others – such as Diggers and Levellers – continue to inspire people today. The period also saw the flourishing of religious movements like Baptists and Quakers – who openly rejected the established church – and figures known as Ranters, who rejected the concept of ‘sin’ and lived accordingly.
This lively study, peppered with quotations from contemporary writings, brings this remarkable episode in our history to life.
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