Protestant faith and Catholic charity
Negotiating confessional difference in early modern Christmas celebrations
in Forms of faith
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The English Protestant monarchy took the lead in exemplifying the continued importance of Christmas to post-Reformation England. Mostly the Christmas celebrations, which by the early seventeenth century had consolidated into a list of customary foods, activities, and entertainments, carried little or no potentially objectionable devotional content. The central ideal for the season was open-handed generosity, signified primarily by the copious amounts of food showered on guests. Traditional foods consumed during the holiday included roast meats, mince pies, and plum puddings washed down with wine, strong beer, and the 'strong brown ale' in the wassail cup. King James I's initiative on Christmas is reflected in John Taylor's Complaint of Christmas, the pamphlet that ends with the ecumenical suggestion that Protestant faith could use a little bolstering with Catholic charity and vice versa.

Forms of faith

Literary form and religious conflict in early modern England


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