Worship and sacraments

Susan Hardman Moore

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

To understand the ethos of worship and sacraments evident in Dissenting traditions by 1689, the hinterland is important. From the 1540s, some Protestants wanted reform of the Book of Common Prayer while others wanted to abandon it altogether. Early debates about change intensified into hostility to all ‘set prayer’, in reaction to Laud’s liturgical policies of the 1630s. This stamped a particular character on the Westminster Assembly’s Directory for the Publique Worship of God (1645). Its free-but-ordered style took English Dissenting traditions down a distinctive path. In terms of culture, Dissenting worship was not a sensory desert (as is often assumed), but used the senses—and imagery that drew on the senses—to cultivate an intensity of experience within the outward aesthetic of simplicity. As Bunyan pictured it in Holy War, the only way to capture Heart Castle was by storming Ear-gate, Eye-gate, Mouth-gate, Nose-gate, and Feel-gate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, Volume I
Subtitle of host publicationThe Post-Reformation Era, 1559-1689
EditorsJohn Coffey
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191840135
ISBN (Print)9780198702238
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2020

Publication series

NameThe Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions
PublisherOxford University Press

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • worship
  • sacraments
  • Book of Common Prayer
  • Westminster Directory
  • Dissenting religious experience


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