Introduction
In search of pre-Reformation English spirituality
in Catholic England
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Pre-Reformation Catholicism was a 'demand-led' religion. The problem of pre-Reformation 'anticlericalism' has been one of the foci of interest in searching for the roots of the Reformation itself. With the literary material taken on as well, there is a great deal of written evidence for both the theory and the practice of late medieval English religion and spirituality. For most people in England the main access to the Bible, and indeed to instruction in the faith, would be through hearing priests from their pulpits. 'Sermons' were a fundamental instructional medium. Preaching as a means of communication is one of the most problematic areas of the discussion of late medieval spirituality. Evidence of a search for an alternative Christianity in late medieval England becomes increasingly widespread from 1380, in association with the development of the doctrines of John Wyclif and the energetic opposition which they faced from the ecclesiastical establishment.

Catholic England

Faith, religion and observance before the Reformation

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