In early modern England, the altar, which is both a symbol and a site for religious events, has played a major role in religion. Throughout the mid-sixteenth century, altars became the target of protestant reformers and in the mid-seventeenth century, altars became a venue for conflict and overthrow among the puritans. The altar and its background reveal conflicting beliefs on sacramental theology, imagery, sanctity, and reverence between Catholics and protestants and among protestants themselves, which is evident in the stirring debates about the altar's orientation, positioning, the material it is made of, and how it is supposed to be referred to. The study draws attention to debate on theology, issues in church politics and government, practice and belief within a parish, and other such issues, by demonstrating these narratives across the first 150 years of protestantism in England.
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