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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Mid-sixteenth-century England witnessed unprecedented religio-political turmoil. Following the death of Henry VIII in 1547, the government of Edward VI fostered a controversial programme of Protestant reform by instituting public worship in the vernacular based upon Bible readings, officially authorized sermons, and rejection of transubstantiation and replacement of the Mass with celebration of Holy Communion in the form of a communal meal in accordance with the second Book of Common Prayer (1552). The government relaxed restraints on Protestant propaganda at the same time that it blocked publication of Roman Catholic books. Following King Edward’s death in 1553, Mary I reversed changes in the state religion introduced under her late father and brother. Book publication underwent contraction as the government encouraged renewed publication of Roman Catholic books. Following the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558, her government restored Protestant doctrine and worship in line with the 1552 prayer book.

Keywords: Church, religion, reform, reaction, worship, heresy, publication, censorship

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