October 17th, 2013
Episode 323 of 552 episodes
The Book of Common Prayer, first published in 1549, contained versions of the liturgy in English. Compiled by Thomas Cranmer, the book was at the centre of the decade of religious turmoil that followed, and disputes over its use were one of the major causes of the English Civil War in the 1640s. The book was revised several times before the celebrated final version was published in 1662. It is still in use in many churches today, and remains not just a liturgical text of great importance but a literary work of profound beauty. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford; Alexandra Walsham, Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and Martin Palmer, Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education, and Culture.