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2 Blurred Lines? Religion, Reform, and Reformation in Sir David Lyndsay’s

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Chapter Summary

This article examines Sir David Lyndsay’s treatment of religious reform in Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis. It begins by examining the play’s representation of the Bible, but subsequently widens the perspective to look at the complexities and apparent contradictions evident in the play’s discussion of clerical wealth and immorality and the failure of clerics to preach and teach those in their cure. Rather than accepting the once conventional line that the playwright was advancing a proto-protestant position in the play, this essay sets his careful negotiation of questions of clerical corruption and failure in the context of the programme of progressive catholic reform led by Archbishop John Hamilton in the early 1550s. It suggests that, rather than advancing a radical confessional agenda, the play reflects the fluid state of religious politics in the Scotland of the 1550s on the eve of the Reformation.



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