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Patronage, literature and religion

This book aims both to shed light on the complex legal and procedural basis for early modern chaplaincy and to expand the understanding of what chaplains, in practice, actually did. Each chapter in the book treats in a different way the central question of how interactions in literature, patronage and religion made forms of cultural agency are available to early modern chaplains, primarily in England. The numerous case studies discussed in the book include instances of both the public and the more private aspects of chaplaincy. The book first focuses on the responsibility of the bishop of London's chaplains for pre-publication censorship of the press. It then examines the part played by ambassadorial chaplains such as Daniel Featley within wider networks of international diplomacy, interconfessional rivalry and print polemic. Patronage was evidently the key to determining the roles, activities and significance of early modern chaplains. Unsurprisingly, patrons often chose chaplains whose interests and priorities, whether theological or secular, were similar or complementary to their own. Episcopal chaplains had a politically significant role in keeping lay patrons loyal to the Church of England during the interregnum. Alongside patronage and religion, the book also considers the diverse array of literary activities undertaken by early modern chaplains.

Authors: Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

In 1997, Stuart Clark published the first monograph since the time of Jules Michelet to focus on pre-modern ideas about witches. The language of belief in witchcraft studies betrays an anachronistic, modernist and dismissive approach to a mental universe quite different from our own. This book makes the male witch visible, to construct him as a historical subject, as a first step toward a deeper understanding of the functions and role of gender in pre-modern European witch-hunting and ideas about witches. The overtly political dimension to the study of witches in early modern Europe demands a high level of consciousness and reflexivity regarding language, representation, and meaning. William Monter provides a wealth of data about male witches, in an 'unremarkable province' close to 'the heart of northern and western Europe'. Here, men comprised the majority of those tried and executed for witchcraft. The book examines cases in which men were accused of witchcraft. The examples are drawn from several different regions, in order to test conventional generalisations about male witches. The agency theory posits that actors always have choices; 'agent-centred' morality proposes a novel twist on both traditional Kantian internalist categories. The problems of both male and female witches' agency and selfhood are discussed. The book also presents data compiled from ten canonical works, and a brief discussion of demonological illustrations. Finally, it addresses the question of what it means to label a man as a witch within a framework that explicitly and implicitly feminised witchcraft.

Monika Fludernik

Biblical drama in early modern England seems to have been more prevalent than used to be assumed (see Chapter 8 ), yet there are only a few extant texts, the most prominent of which in the early seventeenth century are Thomas Lodge and Robert Greene's A Looking Glasse for London and George Peele's The Love of King David and Fair Bethsabe (respectively discussed in Chapters 10 and 4 in this book). The present contribution therefore takes a more indirect approach to the subject of enacting the Bible in early modern English drama

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama

This book considers how biblical women were read, appropriated and debated in a wide range of early modern texts. It traverses a range of genres and examines literature written by a variety of confessionally diverse writers. By considering literature intended for assorted audiences, the book showcases the diverse contexts in which the Bible's women were deployed, and illuminates the transferability of biblical appreciation across apparent religious divisions. The book has been split into two sections. Part One considers women and feminine archetypes of the Old Testament, and the chapters gathered in Part Two address the New Testament. This structure reflects the division of Scripture in early modern Bibles and speaks to the contemporary method of reading the Bible from the Old Testament to the New Testament. In spite of this division, the chapters regularly make cross references between the two Testaments highlighting how, in line with the conventions of early modern exegesis, they were understood to exist in a reciprocal relationship. Within each section, the chapters are broadly organised according to the sequential appearance of the women/feminine archetypes in the Bible. The biblical women studied extend from Eve in Genesis to the Whore of Babylon in Revelation. The chapters vary between those that examine dominant trends in appropriation to those that consider appropriations of a particular interest group or individual.

Religion and life cycles in early modern England examines intersections between religion and all stages of the life course. It considers rites of passage that shaped an individual’s life, such as birth, death, marriage and childbirth. It investigates everyday lived experiences including attending school and church, going to work, praying, writing letters and singing hymns. It sets examples from different contexts alongside each other and traces how different religious confessions were impacted by the religious and political changes that occurred in the two centuries following the Reformation. These approaches demonstrate the existence of multiple and overlapping understandings of the life cycle in early modern England. The collection is structured around three phases: birth, childhood and youth; adulthood and everyday life; and the dying and the dead. Coexisting with the bodily life cycle were experiences which formed the social life cycle such as schooling, joining a profession, embarking on travel abroad, marriage, parenthood and widowhood. Woven through these occurrences, an individual’s religious life cycle can be seen: the occasions when they were welcomed into a particular faith; when they were tempted to convert; when they joined the ministry or a convent. Early modern individuals often reflected on times they personally acknowledged to have transformed their life or events which instigated their spiritual awakening. They did so creatively in diaries, letters, plays, portraits, diagrams, sermons, poetry and hymns. In this interdisciplinary collection, the complex meanings of life-cycle events for early modern people are shown to be shaped by religious belief and experience.

Elaine Hobby

‘We have an example in Scripture’, noted midwife Jane Sharp, as she reassured her women readers that difficult births, such as those of Tamar’s twins Pharez and Zerah (Genesis 38:27–30), can have a happy outcome. 1 That such a passing comment could be made in the midst of a technical discussion of ‘ great pain and difficulty in Childbearing ’ neatly indicates how fundamental a religious framework was to early modern understandings of life-cycle events. 2 Equally key to

in Religion and life cycles in early modern England

This collection of essays offers new perspectives that foster our understanding of the crucial role the Bible played in medieval culture as well as in the wake of the Reformation across Europe. The thirteen essays open up new horizons for the study of biblical drama by putting special emphasis on periodisation, the intersections of biblical narrative and performance, and the strategies employed by playwrights to rework and adapt the biblical source material. Special emphasis is placed on multitemporality, transnationality, and the modalities of performance and form in relation to the uses of the Bible in medieval and early modern drama. The three aspects are intertwined: particular modalities of performance evolve, adapt and are re-created as they intersect with different historical times and circumstances. These intersections pertain to aspects such as dramatic traditions, confessional and religious rites, dogmas and debates, conceptualisations of performance and form, and audience response – whenever the Bible is evoked for performative purposes. The collection thus stresses the co-presence of biblical and contemporary concerns in the periods under discussion, conceiving of biblical drama as a central participant in the dynamic struggle to both interpret and translate the Bible.

Between the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Letters
Aurélien Girard and Giovanni Pizzorusso

7 The Maronite college in early modern Rome: Between the Ottoman Empire and  the Republic of Letters Aurélien Girard and Giovanni Pizzorusso Introduction The Maronite college, founded by Pope Gregory XIII in 1584, was one of a number of ‘national’ colleges created in Rome in the early modern period.1 It was intended to accommodate young Maronite Christians, who were near-eastern Catholics of the ancient patriarchate of Antioch, and lived in Arabic provinces of the Ottoman Empire, under Islamic jurisdictions. Like other foreign students, they were to receive an

in College communities abroad
Silvia Bigliazzi

, had a choral performance indirectly linked to the tradition of the complaint. Interestingly, this unique example coalesces the classical and medieval traditions, conflating the genre of the ancient choral weeping for the dead and the liturgical, responsorial, psalmodic lamentation, in line with the dynamic system of ‘confluence’ of different traditions Bruce Smith demonstrated with regard to the early modern reception and appropriation of classical and medieval models. 4 It is especially interesting because it

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
A brief survey
Éamonn Ó Ciardha

8 Irish-language sources for Irish Catholic identity since the early modern period: a brief survey Éamonn Ó Ciardha The five decades after the ‘Flight of the Earls’ (1607) witnessed a marked decline in the fortunes of the professional learned classes of poets, scribes, brehons, genealogists and chroniclers. Although the wholesale destruction of manuscripts and the carelessness of subsequent generations have deprived us of much of their œuvre, nearly six thousand manuscripts (many of which remain unedited and untranslated) have survived the ravages of time to

in Irish Catholic identities