Introduction
in Literature and politics in the English Reformation
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The politics of confessionalization can be understood in terms of an increase of state power. The state of religion in pre-Reformation England has been the subject of much recent historical research. Sir Thomas More's use of the word 'frame' to describe Thomas Bilney's construction of his new religion is designed to suggest its mechanical and artificial nature. More's work the Dialogue concerning Heresies has often been seen as the moment when the learned, witty, humanist More transformed into the bigoted, boring, persecutionary More. The Dialogue concerning Heresies was almost certainly written as part of the same campaign that saw the production of John Skelton's A Replycacion. The relationship between the clericalist agenda of men like Edmund Dudley and the world of print as represented in Robert Copland's poetry is played out in the writing of Skelton and William Tyndale. Papistry is the truth's constant counterpart in the work of Tyndale.

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