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    Economic immorality and social reformation in English popular preaching, 1585-1625

    Waddell, Brodie (2008) Economic immorality and social reformation in English popular preaching, 1585-1625. Cultural and Social History 5 (2), pp. 165-182. ISSN 1478-0038.

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    Popular preachers, often drawing crowds of hundreds, frequently attempted to reform the relationship between rich and poor in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Rather than accepting economic oppression as part of the divinely-ordained social order, many tried to convince their audiences that the extortions of merchants, landlords and creditors were crimes which should be punished severely by England’s earthly authorities. This paper demonstrates how the language of popular homiletics opened up a space for plebeian action with concrete socioeconomic consequences. By analysing the connotative idiom of social complaint found in homilies and other widely-heard sermons, the important but historiographically neglected role of ‘godliness’ in the early modern ‘moral economy’ is revealed.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: “This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
    Depositing User: Brodie Waddell
    Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2013 12:04
    Last Modified: 11 Jun 2021 13:00


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