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Advice Manuals and the Formation of English Protestant and Catholic Clerical Identities, 1560-1660

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image of Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis / Dutch Review of Church History
For more content, see Church History and Religious Culture.

Drawing from personal experience or the preparation of aspiring pastors, some English authors sought to refine clerical job descriptions during the first century of religious reform. Although clerical advice manuals consistently demanded a morally upright life and suitable academic training, the pastor's ongoing spiritual formation assumed more importance. Handbooks written by authors as diverse as the "Puritan" Richard Bernard, the "establishment" pastor George Herbert, and the "papist" George Gilbert also outlined the use of several novel methods to deal with individuals who failed to respond to more traditional means of preaching and provision of the sacraments. A close reading of such manuals provides a window on competing visions of English clerical life before 1660.


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