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Gareth Atkins

Ever since his violent death in 1556, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer had been used by rival groups to justify their views about the Church of England. Thanks chiefly to John Foxe his burning, in particular, became central to Protestant narratives. In the nineteenth century, however, confessional stories became hotly contested, and amid the ‘rage of history’ erstwhile heroes and martyrs were placed under intense scrutiny. This article uses Cranmers fluctuating reputation as a lens through which to explore changing understandings of the English past. As will become clear, uncertainties over how to place Cranmer bespoke a crisis of Anglican identity, one driven both by divisions within the Church of England and challenges to its political, cultural and intellectual authority from without. Despite and perhaps because of shifts in how he was seen, Cranmers liturgical writings - the Book of Common Prayer - came to be seen as his chief legacy.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Judith Richards

Although the reputation of Englands first queen regnant, Mary Tudor (died 1558) had remained substantially unchanged in the intervening centuries, there were always some defenders of that Catholic queen among the historians of Victorian England. It is worth noting, however, that such revisionism made little if any impact on the schoolroom history textbooks, where Marys reputation remained much as John Foxe had defined it. Such anxiety as there was about attempts to restore something of Marys reputation were made more problematic by the increasing number and increasingly visible presence of a comprehensive Catholic hierarchy in the nineteenth century, and by high-profile converts to the Catholic faith and papal authority. The pre-eminent historians of the later Victorian era consistently remained more favourable to the reign of Elizabeth, seen as the destroyer,of an effective Catholic church in England.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Stephen Gordon

Necromancy, the practice of conjuring and controlling evil spirits, was a popular pursuit in the courts and cloisters of late medieval and early modern Europe. Books that gave details on how to conduct magical experiments circulated widely. Written pseudonymously under the name of the astrologer and translator Michael Scot (d. 1236), Latin MS 105 from the John Rylands Library, Manchester, is notable for the inclusion, at the beginning of the manuscript, of a corrupted, unreadable text that purports to be the Arabic original. Other recensions of the handbook, which generally travelled under the pseudo-Arabic title of Almuchabola Absegalim Alkakib Albaon, also stressed the experiments non-Western origins. Using Latin MS 105 as the main case study, this article aims to investigate the extent to which a magic books paratextual data conveyed a sense of authority to its contemporary audience.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Catholicism and Nonconformity in Nineteenth-Century ‘Jewish Conversion’ Novels
Andrew Crome

This article examines English Evangelical novels focused on the conversion of Jewish characters, published from the 1820s to the 1850s. It concentrates particularly on the way these novels emphasised the importance of the Church of England in constructing national and religious identity, and used Jewish conversion as a way to critique Catholicism and Nonconformity. Jewish worship, rabbinic authority and Talmudic devotion were linked to Roman Catholic attitudes towards priesthood and tradition, while Jews were also portrayed as victims of a persecuting Roman Church. Nonconformity was criticised for disordered worship and confusing Jews with its attacks on respectable Anglicanism. As a national religion, novelists therefore imagined that Jews would be saved by a national church, and often linked this to concepts of a national restoration to Palestine. This article develops and complicates understandings of Evangelical views of Jews in the nineteenth century, and their links to ‘writing the nation’ in popular literature.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Governing COVID dead in southern Arizona
Robin C. Reineke

Research into the governance of dead bodies, primarily focused on post-conflict contexts, has often focused on the aspects of the management of dead bodies that involve routinisation, bureaucratisation and order. Less attention has been paid to the governance of the dead in times of relative peace and, in particular, to the aspects of such work that are less bureaucratised and controlled. This article explores the governance of dead bodies in pandemic times – times which although extraordinary, put stress on ordinary systems in ways that are revealing of power and politics. Observations for this article come from over fifteen years of ethnographic research at a medical examiner’s office in Arizona, along with ten focused interviews in 2020 with medico-legal authorities and funeral directors specifically about the COVID-19 pandemic. The author argues that the pandemic revealed the ways in which the deathcare industry in the United States is an unregulated, decentralised and ambiguous space.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
The shock of Hart Island, New York
Sally Raudon

When drone footage emerged of New York City’s COVID-19 casualties being buried by inmates in trenches on Hart Island, the images became a key symbol for the pandemic: the suddenly soaring death toll, authorities’ struggle to deal with overwhelming mortality and widespread fear of anonymous, isolated death. The images shocked New Yorkers, most of whom were unaware of Hart Island, though its cemetery operations are largely unchanged since it opened over 150 years ago, and about one million New Yorkers are buried there. How does Hart Island slip in and out of public knowledge for New Yorkers in a cycle of remembering and forgetting – and why is its rediscovery shocking? Perhaps the pandemic, understood as a spectacular event, reveals what has been there, though unrecognised, all along.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
María José Sarrabayrouse Oliveira

The military coup of March 1976 in Argentina ruptured the prevailing institutional order, with the greater part of its repressive strategy built on clandestine practices and tactics (death, torture and disappearance) that sowed fear across large swathes of Argentine society. Simultaneously, the terrorist state established a parallel, de facto legal order through which it endeavoured to legitimise its actions. Among other social forces, the judicial branch played a pivotal role in this project of legitimisation. While conscious of the fact that many of those inside the justice system were also targets of oppression, I would like to argue that the dictatorship‘s approach was not to establish a new judicial authority but, rather, to build upon the existing institutional structure, remodelling it to suit its own interests and objectives. Based on an analysis of the criminal and administrative proceedings that together were known as the Case of the judicial morgue, this article aims to examine the ways in which the bodies of the detained-disappeared that entered the morgue during the dictatorship were handled, as well as the rationales and practices of the doctors and other employees who played a part in this process. Finally, it aims to reflect upon the traces left by judicial and administrative bureaucratic structures in relation to the crimes committed by the dictatorship, and on the legal strategies adopted by lawyers and the families of the victims.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
A Focus on Community Engagement
Frédéric Le Marcis, Luisa Enria, Sharon Abramowitz, Almudena-Mari Saez, and Sylvain Landry B. Faye

Saez narrates negotiations between community-based organisations and the NGO in charge of opening a new Ebola Treatment Unit at the SKD 3 Stadium in Monrovia. In the final case, from Sierra Leone, Luisa Enria discusses the role of chiefs through the confrontation between the police and young Sierra Leoneans in Bamoi Luma when authorities violently imposed the closure of a market in order to avoid a resurgence of the epidemic. Despite their heterogeneity, the cases

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Jacques Gerstenkorn

This article describes the powerplay around the recent discovery (summer 2015) of eighteenth-century Jewish graves in the French city of Lyon. Prior to the French Revolution, Jews had no right to have their own cemeteries, and the corpses of the deceased were buried in the basement of the local catholic hospital, the Hôtel- Dieu. In recent years this centrally located building was completely renovated and converted into a retail complex selling luxury brands. The discovery and subsequent identification of the graves – and of some human remains – led to a complex confrontation between various actors: archaeologists, employed either by the municipality or by the state; religious authorities (mostly Lyons chief rabbi); the municipality itself; the private construction companies involved; direct descendants of some of the Jews buried in the hospital‘s basement; as well as the local media. The question of what to do with the graves took centre stage, and while exhumations were favoured by both archaeologists and the representatives of the families, the chief rabbi – supported by the construction companies – proved reluctant to exhume, for religious reasons. In the first part of his article the author details the origins of this Jewish funerary place and current knowledge about it. He then goes on to analyse what was at stake in the long negotiations, arguing that the memory of the Holocaust played a role in the attitude of many of the parties involved. By way of conclusion he considers the decision not to exhume the graves and elaborates on the reasons why this led to some dissatisfaction.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Lessons Learned from an Intervention by Médecins Sans Frontières
Maria Ximena Di Lollo, Elena Estrada Cocina, Francisco De Bartolome Gisbert, Raquel González Juarez, and Ana Garcia Mingo

where MSF has its added value, and after seeing the health system was on the verge of collapse, MSF directly collaborated with local authorities responding to COVID-19. Initial efforts focused on proposing and executing solutions for the decongestion of hospital emergency services, the supply of oxygen and the maintenance of referral systems in the two regions with the highest morbidity and mortality, Madrid and Barcelona. Once the intervention had started, it soon became

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs