Abstract and Keywords
The impact of Protestantism on England, Scotland, and Ireland has long been the subject of intense historical debate. This article looks first at recent developments in historiography, especially focusing on England, and emphasizes studies on doctrine, religious culture, and individual responses to the challenge of new forms of belief. It then turns to the experience of conversion, and the language of emotion that men and women used to express their sense of regeneration. Though becoming fully Protestant was an intensely personal experience, it was followed for the godly by a duty to convert others. This was undertaken through congregational discipline—most notable in Scotland—through national liturgies, preaching, catechizing, and bible reading. A majority of the Irish resisted attempts to make them Protestants. Elsewhere the dilemma was how to live with the uncooperative and indifferent within a visible, national church. This was an unresolved tension, especially in England.
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