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The Plain Man's Pathways to HeavenKinds of Christianity in Post-Reformation England, 1570–1640$
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Christopher Haigh

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199216505

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216505.001.0001

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The Papist: Outside the Church, Inside the Community

The Papist: Outside the Church, Inside the Community

(p.183) 9 The Papist: Outside the Church, Inside the Community
The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven


Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on papists. ‘Church papists’ went to church to avoid trouble: they usually kept their heads down, and their opinions to themselves. Catholics who stayed away from church — the recusants (or ‘refusers’) — denied the legitimacy and authority of the Church of England, and so rarely bothered to appear before its courts. When recusants were indicted at quarter sessions or assizes, certified absence was enough to convict them, and their reasons hardly mattered. So historians have found it difficult to write about grass-roots Catholic opinion — what ordinary Catholics thought of their own religion and of the religion of Protestants.

Keywords:   papists, recusants, Church papists, Protestants, Catholics

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