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Shakespeare Connected - The Material Faith of Shakespeare


Images and objects continued to provide tools for Protestant personal prayer, with a striking degree of continuity, though there were important shifts in emphasis.

Rosary beads were highly personal objects of faith, serving as a material tool to support the reciting of prayers in Marian devotion. As this kind of prayer to saints was rejected in Protestant faith, rosaries became redundant and were associated with Popish behaviours.


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The Book of Christian Prayers published in 1578 by the Protestant printer John Day provides prayers and meditations for each part of the day, from ‘first waking’ until ‘when we be ready to sleep’ at night. Despite its attempt to impose a reformed version of prayer cleansed of popery, the format copies and evokes the traditional ‘Book of Hours’, associated with monastic observance. The wide illustrated margins are illustrated with a wealth of biblical scenes and schemes familiar from medieval art including scenes from the life of Christ and the Dance of Death.

SBT SR – 98/83256741