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Codification of Table Manners at the Eucharist in Early Stuart England: Reworking the Reformation in the English Church

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 by in Abstracts | 0 comments

Christopher Phil McAbeeChristopher Phil McAbee
University of Utah — Member ΦΑθ-AP
Published in Utah Historical Review, Vol IV.

Using official church documents from the Early Stuart era, broadsides, and pamphlets this article demonstrates how the church set official codes for worship and how the laity responded to that code. Eucharistic table manners and how lay persons behaved during Divine Service created complex multi-tiered relationships with the Church of England, its clergy and fellow lay persons. This article examines how the codification of Eucharistic table manners impacted the lives of lay persons in Early Stuart England. Further, this article argues that strict religious code was placed on the laity by a complex church administration. Laudism shifted how people worshiped in England, and for some, it made religion more accessible, but for others less so as it titled them notorious or outsider.

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Christopher P. McAbee is a Georgia native and 2014 graduate of the University of Utah. As a social historian, he examines rural parish life in Early Modern and Post Reformation England with a focus on physical deformity and disability. Although parish life is the community outside the church setting, he uses church settings as a lightning rod for his research because the church played a significant role in the lives of English men and women. Presently, Christopher is applying for graduate programs and plans to continue his research with ‘Eucharistic Table Manners’ and the exclusion of laypersons in faith communities.

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