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date: 18 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Fuelled by recent, ambitious text editing projects, scripture as filtered through the medium of early modern preaching has been a subject of intense scholarly interest since the 1990s. This chapter tracks a different course: the English Church’s official position on scripture as promulgated in published canons and visitation articles during the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I, and, briefly, Charles I. The survey shows that the Church of England’s statements about scripture shifted markedly between the Protestant Settlement of 1559 and the Long Parliament of 1640. If we track the church’s official voice across three reigns, we can discern an unmistakable trajectory, as the church’s stated attitude towards the English Bible moved from promotion, to increasing suspicion, to select disavowal.

Keywords: Church of England, attitudes to Bible, episcopacy, visitation articles, injunctions, preaching, Bible reading, Reformation Bible, Book of Common Prayer

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