Religion and life cycles in early modern England

Edited by Caroline Bowden, Emily Vine and Tessa Whitehouse

Religion and life cycles in early modern England


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4923-7
  • Pages: 328
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: October 2021
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Stuart Era (1603-1714), HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Georgian Era (1714-1837), Humanities / Social & cultural history, Humanities / Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, Humanities / British & Irish history, Religion, History, Early Modern History, 18th century, c 1700 to c 1799, 17th century, c 1600 to c 1699, Later 16th century c 1550 to c 1599, England, Religious life & practice, Social & cultural history, RELIGION / History, HISTORY / Social History
  • Series: Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Studies


Religion and life cycles in early modern England assembles scholars working in the fields of history, English literature and art history to further our understanding of the intersection between religion and the life course in the period c. 1550-1800. Featuring chapters on Catholic, Protestant and Jewish communities, it encourages cross-confessional comparison between life stages and rites of passage that were of religious significance to all faiths in early modern England. The book considers biological processes such as birth and death, aspects of the social life cycle including schooling, coming of age and marriage and understandings of religious transition points such as spiritual awakenings and conversion. Through this inclusive and interdisciplinary approach, it seeks to show that the life cycle was not something fixed or predetermined and that early modern individuals experienced multiple, overlapping life cycles.


Introduction: religion and life cycles in early modern England - Caroline Bowden, Emily Vine and Tessa Whitehouse
Part I: Birth, childhood and youth
1 Second birth and the spiritual lifecycle in Protestant England - Alexandra Walsham
2 Prayer, pregnancy and print - Rebecca Whiteley
3 Maternal breastfeeding: providence and advocacy in seventeenth-century sermons and prescriptive literature - Lauren Cantos
4 Religious practice and the social worlds of eighteenth-century children, 1688 to 1800 - Mary Clare Martin
5 Intergenerational relationships in a family archive: adolescence, school and French polish - Caroline Bowden
Part II: Adulthood and everyday life
6 The secular dynamics of religious identity - Bernard Capp
7 The clergy and marriage in Restoration comedies - David Fletcher
8 Women, religion and early-modern life cycles - Elaine Hobby
9 Everyday religious and life-cycle events in the diaries of Richard Stonley - Zoe Hudson
10 Letter-writing, life-cycle events and the daily life of faith - Tessa Whitehouse
Part III: The dying and the dead
11 Birth, death and faith: Sir Thomas Aston at the deathbed of his wife - Rosemary Keep
12 Caring for the dying and the dead in the London Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities, 1656?1800 - Emily Vine
13 Temporality and the eternal afterlife in children's hymns of the long eighteenth century - Nancy Jiwon Cho


Caroline Bowden is Senior Research Fellow in History at Queen Mary University of London

Emily Vine is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham

Tessa Whitehouse is Senior Lecturer in English at Queen Mary University of London

Religion and life cycles in early modern England

Edited by Caroline Bowden, Emily Vine, Tessa Whitehouse

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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