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Catholicism, conformity and the community in the Elizabethan diocese of Durham

Oates, Rosamund (2006) Catholicism, conformity and the community in the Elizabethan diocese of Durham. Northern history, 43 (1). pp. 53-76. ISSN 1745-8706

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Abstract

This article explores the development of Elizabethan Catholicism, challenging historical divisions between 'missionary' and 'traditional' Catholicism. By examining contrasting patterns of conformity among Durham Catholics, the article highlights divisions within the Catholic community about the implications of recusancy, showing that religious nonconformity reflected political, as well as pious, considerations. Challenging the traditional emphasis on the role of missionary priests in shaping English Catholicism, this article argues that the evolution of Catholicism-including patterns of worship and relationships with the State-was driven by the social, political and economic legacies of the local societies from which Elizabethan Catholic communities emerged.

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