Meddling with the Scriptures : Lay Bible Reading and England’s Clergy, 1603-1625 Romaniuk, Jonathan Gilbert
Lay Bible reading took hold in England after the Protestant Reformation, and the ramifications of this practice were felt throughout England’s seventeenth century. Thus, investigating the clergy’s expectations for lay Bible readers during the reign of James I provides important context for English religious life before the English Civil War thoroughly blurred religion and politics. Examining these clerical expectations in publications on divinity and Scripture reading requires one to consider England’s print economy and culture towards the Bible and other religious works. Ultimately, this approach reveals that the clergy desired and took meaningful steps to create a strong lay readership in the Jacobean period and that this ambition was partly hindered and partly realized through English printing.
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