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Popular Beliefs and Religion In Tudor-Stuart Society

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Introduction

POPULAR BELIEFS AND RELIGION IN TUDOR-STUART SOCIETY Describe the way in which the Church and popular religion affected the lives of ordinary people from 1558-1667. Why, and how successful, did the established Church try to change the beliefs and customs of its parishioners? In the days Tudor-Stuart society were many changes in state religion by different ruling monarchs that affected the lives of ordinary people. This was especially during the period of 1558-1667, where immense confusion arose by the nation people over what religion to practice. During this time, there was further confusion, not only religious, but also confusion of not being able to explain the unexplainable. This resulted in superstition, which was popular during this period, as a way for the people to explain the things that could not be explained. With the increasing amount of superstition, and other popular beliefs, it led to an increase in insecurity leading to the accusations of witches. The established Church had many affects on the lives of ordinary people. ...read more.

Middle

Death was a common punishment for those caught during "Bloody Mary's reign. Many things were unexplainable during this period. In this era, people did not have science to explain why influenza and plagues occurred, allowing their insecurities to get the better of them. Popular beliefs helped explain tragedies for which there were no rational explanations. To calm people down and take their minds off things, they believed in superstitions. Such as the superstition where if you drop salt, take a pinch and throw it over your left shoulder. You would then throw it into the face of the devil as he stands on that side of you. This calmed people so they did not panic during the years of uncertainty. Other superstitions comforting people were the prospects of going to heaven. It said, that, to enter heaven, one must place a penny in the mouth of a deceased being the payment to St Patrick to enter heaven. One of the most important superstitions, was the one, when someone sneezed, the first sign of the Black Plague. ...read more.

Conclusion

Innocent people, majority of them women were falsely and wrongly accused reflecting the prejudice towards women in this period. People lived in a state of fear, not knowing what would happen next or who would be proclaimed witch, if not themselves. Therefore Tudor-Stuart society between 1558-1667 bought amongst the ever changing religion of each ruling monarch, the population too changing with it. For the devout believers of their religion refusing to practice in secrecy (recusants) faced harsh punishment. Superstitions was prominent as a means for people seeking comfort after the Protestant reformation, which discarded saints and cardinals. People sought comfort and security through superstitions and popular beliefs. Witchcraft was scattered all over this period and there were certain times such as the Elizabethan reign hitting peak the declining again. Witchcraft disrupted people causing their lives to a state of confusion, uncertainty and fear. The Church affected people lives by having power and authority over them. They captured the heart and souls of these people in this period. The people were loyal to their religion and their Church therefore obeying the Church and their rules. This is how the Church affected their lived, but also in many other ways. ...read more.

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