It's 1534 and I'm a commoner in rural England. King Henry just split with the catholic church. How does this change things in my local parish? Do we all just go along with the pope no longer being the head of the church?

The result, the new historical consensus argues, is that the vast majority of people in the England of this period were Christian more in terms of habit than out of theological conviction.

Is this arguing that most English at this time didn't hold personal religious beliefs? That seems very provocative to me, arguably taking the premise too far. I don't doubt that most people in Europe at this time were ignorant of the theological nuances of Christianity. However, that doesn't mean they didn't have strong convictions in favor of the religion (or, after the start of the reformation, their particular sect). It is not hard to demonstrate that people can feel an immense attachment to and belief in something despite not having a deep understanding of it. Am I misinterpreting this part of your post?

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