In early Victorian England there was intense interest in understanding the early Church as an inspiration for contemporary sanctity. This was manifested in a surge in archaeological inquiry and also in the construction of new churches using medieval models. Some Anglicans began to use a much more complicated form of ritual involving vestments, candles, and incense. This "Anglo-Catholic" movement was vehemently opposed by evangelicals and dissenters, who saw this as the vanguard of full-blown "popery." Dominic Janes seeks to understand the fierce passions that were unleashed by the contended practices and artifacts - passions that found expression in litigation, in rowdy demonstrations, and even in physical violence.

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