Popular Religion and the English Revolution

  • Christopher Hill


In seventeenth century England there were revolutions in politics, economics and science. Almost as important a turning point was the emergence of new ideas of sin and hell, of man’s fate in the after life and consequently of the way in which he should behave in life. At the beginning of the century the conviction prevailed among the articulate classes that a minority was predestined to eternal life, the vast majority to an eternity of torture. By the end of the century we were on the verge of the age of enlightenment, of deism, or rationalism. Human effort and morality, based on the demands of the individual conscience, now appeared more important than the arbitrary decisions of an omnipotent God. How did this transition come about?


Seventeenth Century Common People Political Democracy Individual Conscience State Church 
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Copyright information

© Bruce Lincoln 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Hill

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