Radical Religion in Cromwell's England by Andrew Bradstock
A Concise History from the English Civil War to the End of the Commonwealth (International Library of Historical Studies)

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""The present state of the old world is running up like parchment in the fire."" So declaimed Gerrard Winstanley, charismatic leader of radical religious group the Diggers, in mid-seventeenth century England: one of the most turbulent periods in that country's history. As three civil wars divided and slaughtered families and communities, as failing harvests and land reforms forced many to the edge of starvation, and as longstanding institutions like the House of Lords, the Established Church and even the monarchy were unceremoniously dismantled, so a feverish sense of living on the cusp of a new age gripped the nation. Radical Religion in Cromwell's England is the first genuinely concise and accessible history of the fascinating ideas and popular movements which emerged during this volatile period. Names like the ""Ranters,"" ""Seekers,"" ""Diggers,"" ""Muggletonians"" and ""Levellers"" convey something of the exoticism of these associations, which although loose-knit, and in some cases short-lived, impacted on every stratum of society. Andrew Bradstock critically appraises each group and its ideas, taking into account the context in which they emerged, the factors which influenced them, and their significance at the time and subsequently. The role of political, religious, economic and military factors in shaping radical opinion is explored in full, as is the neglected contribution of women to these movements. Drawing on the author's long study of the topic, Radical Religion in Cromwell's England brings a remarkable era to vivid and colorful life.


About Andrew Bradstock

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Published January 15, 2011 by I.B.Tauris. 224 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel. Non-fiction

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Although it might be argued that Bradstock misses an important opportunity to either reappraise and concretely redefine ‘radical’ as something other than an ambiguous umbrella term for marginalized voices calling for change, Bradstock’s book serves to restore the primary role of religion to the p...

Mar 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Radical Religion in Cromwell'...