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From Reformation to ImprovementPublic Welfare in Early Modern England$
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Paul Slack

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206613

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206613.001.0001

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Godly Cities

Godly Cities

(p.29) 2 Godly Cities
From Reformation to Improvement

Paul Slack

Oxford University Press

According to Robert Jenison, godly cities were those purged by ‘a thorough reformation’, and marked by ‘their impartial uprightness in executing justice and regarding the cause of the poor’. Civic godliness has the capacity to produce a new set of determined drivers for the vehicle of social reform, and to accelerate its pace, even if it did not select an entirely new destination. The chapter looks closely at what made these drivers distinctive, and then turns to their destination in order to ask what was peculiar about that. In the end, the wider inculcation of godly discipline remained an impossible goal; and the greater the acceleration of civic reform, the more divisive, unpopular, and unattainable that ultimate destination became.

Keywords:   Puritan drive, civic reformation, godly cities, Robert Jenison, civic godliness

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