Religious views of William Shakespeare

The religious views of William Shakespeare are the subject of an ongoing scholarly debate dating back more than 150 years. The direct evidence of William Shakespeare's religious affiliation indicates that he was a conforming member of the established Anglican Church. However, many scholars have speculated about his personal religious beliefs, based on analysis of the historical record and of his published work, with claims that Shakespeare's family may have had Catholic sympathies and that he himself was a secret Catholic. Other scholars have speculated that he was an atheist. Due to the paucity of direct evidence, no general agreement has been reached.