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England's Culture WarsPuritan Reformation and its Enemies in the Interregnum, 1649-1660$
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Bernard Capp

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641789

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641789.001.0001

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Sins against God: Swearing and the Sabbath

Sins against God: Swearing and the Sabbath

(p.87) 5 Sins against God: Swearing and the Sabbath
England's Culture Wars

Bernard Capp

Oxford University Press

This chapter uses court records and other evidence to examine campaigns to curb blasphemy, casual oaths, and profanation of the Sabbath, offences puritans regarded as even more sinful than sexual immorality or drunkenness. It explores the prosecution of Socinians, Quakers, and numerous little-known alleged blasphemers, some deluded, others deliberately provocative. It surveys too the role of the courts and individual magistrates in suppressing profane swearing and the casual oaths common in everyday speech. The chapter then examines campaigns to enforce tight Sabbath restrictions. It explores efforts to suppress all forms of commercial activity, travel, drinking, and sports, and offers an assessment of how much was achieved on each of these fronts.

Keywords:   Socinians, Sabbath, blasphemy, swearing, Quakers

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