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The Christian's ABC: Catechisms and Catechizing in England c.1530-1740 (Hardback)
  • The Christian's ABC: Catechisms and Catechizing in England c.1530-1740 (Hardback)

The Christian's ABC: Catechisms and Catechizing in England c.1530-1740 (Hardback)

Hardback 782 Pages / Published: 28/03/1996
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This is really three books in one: a study in church history; an essay in theology; and a bibliographical source for scholars working in various disciplines, and for librarians with catechisms of unsure provenance. Ian Green has written the first major study of the catechisms and techniques of catechizing used in early modern England, from the Reformation through to the Evangelical Revival. He begins by demonstrating the existence of several hundred different catechisms, with literally millions of copies circulating throughout the country, in parish churches, homes, schools and colleges. He then describes the techniques by which children, adolescents, and less well-educated adults were encouraged to master a specially simplified version of the core doctrines contained in the best-selling catechisms of the day, Ian Green goes on to indicate the high level of consensus and continuity in catechetical teaching, and suggests that such differences as there were consisted in either the disparity between the simpler message of many elementary works and the more demanding content of more sophisticated catechisms, or in the less predictable contrast between, on the one hand, the teaching of non-Calvinists and first generation Calvinists, and on the other, that of later Calvinists from Perkins to Westminster theologians. Catechetical teaching, especially on the Ten Commandments, covered all aspects of contemporary life and the book ends with an annotated list of catechisms which enables those with an interest in educational, literary, or linguistic history, or in political and social as well as religious history, to track down quickly works that could be of particular value to them.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198206170
Number of pages: 782
Weight: 1196 g
Dimensions: 242 x 160 x 46 mm

This massive work is the most thorough study of this theme in the context of the English Reformation ... The scholarship underlying this book is thorough and exact from beginning to end. * Denis R. Janz, Religious Studies Review *
Ian Green has written an impressively rich and detailed study of catechesis in Protestant England from the Reformation well into the eighteenth century as part of a larger study of the imparting of religious knowledge in early modern England ... a valuable study that provides a rich vein of ore to be mined by future historians. * Dewey D. Wallace, Jr, Albion *
The Christian's ABC is a long and deeply researched book ... This list of over 600 titles not only provides an invaluable bibliography for future researchers, but it also testifies to the importance attributed to catechizing ... Green writes with remarkable clarity ... makes a major contribution to our understanding of the religious culture of England in the two centuries after the Reformation ... The meticulousness of the research, the comprehensiveness of the coverage, the depth and richness of the analysis, and the judiciousness of the judgments make this a major work of scholarship, which will be an indispensable work for anyone interested in the religious history of early modern England for many years to come. * Stephen Taylor, Anglican and Episcopal History *
In this book Ian Green, in his characteristically modest manner, has provided a substantial contribution to knowledge which also marks a significant advance in our understanding of early modern England. Thanks to his endeavours consideration of the relationship between catechisms and other literary and oral forms over several generations can now be undertaken from a secure base ... immensely learned and thought-provoking volume. * W.J. Sheils, University of York, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 48, No. 2, Apr 97 *
it is now with the publication of Dr Green's monumental and admirable study of catechizing and catechisms that the most obvious point of contact between clerical teaching and popular belief has been properly investigated. He ranges far and wide in search of evidence of the practice of catechizing and makes particularly effective use of the clerical replies to the episcopal questionnaires of the early eighteenth century. He writes in a clear and leisurely prose, with points enumerated and lucidly explained ... the Oxford University Press are to be congratulated on producing a handsome volume with an exceptionally high level of typographical accuracy ... will be an enduring work of reference, enlightenment, and stimulation. * John Spurr, Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 48, No. 1, Apr '97 *

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