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The church as sacred space places the reader at the heart of medieval religious life, standing inside the church with the medieval laity in order to ask what the church meant to them and why. It examines the church as a building, idea, and community, and explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was crucial to its place at the centre of lay devotion and parish life. At a time when the parish church was facing competition for lay attention, and dissenting movements such as Lollardy were challenging the relevance of the material church, the book examines what was at stake in discussions of sanctity and its manifestations. Exploring a range of Middle English literature alongside liturgy, architecture, and material culture, the book explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was constructed and maintained for the edification of the laity. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theoretical approaches, the book offers a reading of the church as continually produced and negotiated by the rituals, performances, and practices of its lay communities, who were constantly being asked to attend to its material form, visual decorations, and significance. The meaning of the church was a dominant question in late-medieval religious culture and this book provides an invaluable context for students and academics working on lay religious experience and canonical Middle English texts.

Elisabeth Salter

devotional manuscripts of the fifteenth century. There remains a set of debates surrounding the connections between Protestantism and the rise in the use of the vernacular (in this instance English) for the circulation of popular literatures. But considerations of the use of English need also to look to the long reformation period in order to acknowledge the role and significance of heretical movements such as Wyclifism and Lollardy, and of heterodoxy more broadly.79 In general, the years c. 1497–1528 are seen as the last years of Lollard activity and indeed of Lollard

in Popular reading in English c. 1400–1600
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Thomas Tolley

Lollardy’s most conspicuous feature. 3 The Biblical prohibition of graven images prompted Wyclif to argue that an image could lead people astray when ‘undue delight was taken in its beauty , expense or connection to external circumstances ’. 4 Furthermore, there was the danger of mistaking the divinity of holy figures with the form of their pictorial representations, an error leading to idolatry. Most

in Gentry culture in late-medieval England
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Christine Carpenter

-paid-up Wyclifites. Especially in view of the court connections of several of them, it is arguable that Wyclif, himself a product of northern devotional piety, appealed to the ascetic, self-denigrating, inward piety that characterised this milieu and that ironically was central to the beliefs of Henry V and his religious advisers who set about stamping out Lollardy after 1414. This clamping-down had already begun

in Gentry culture in late-medieval England
Raluca Radulescu
Alison Truelove

gentry life, sometimes leading to published proceedings. Michael Jones’s edited volume on the European gentry, the result of a colloquium in 1984, containing D. A. L. Morgan’s study of the English gentleman and Christine Carpenter’s study of gentry estates, has been particularly influential. 11 Margaret Aston and Colin Richmond’s volume on Lollardy and the gentry, the result of a conference held in 1995

in Gentry culture in late-medieval England
Suzanne Conklin Akbari

: ‘real presence’ in the Croxton Conversion of Ser Jonathas the Jewe by the Myracle of the Blessed Sacrament’, Theatre Survey, 38 (1997), 97–115. On the relationship of the play’s antisemitism to contemporary attacks on Lollardy, see Lisa Lampert, ‘The once and future Jew: the Croxton Play of the Sacrament, little Robert of Bury, and historical memory’, Jewish History, 15 (2001), 235–55. Croxton Play of the Sacrament, in Non-Cycle Plays, ed. Davis, line 943. The Sowdone of Babylone, in The Romaunce of the Sowdone of Babylone and of Ferumbras his Sone who conquerede Rome

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
Open Access (free)
Reading practices and participation in digital and medieval media
Heather Blatt

modern Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), 141–73. 18 For particular discussions and summaries of the work on literacy rates in late-medieval England, see Susan Crane, ‘The writing lesson of 1381’, Chaucer’s England: literature in historical context, ed. Barbara A. Hanawalt (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992), 201–23, at 202; Judy Ann Ford, John Mirk’s Festial: Orthodoxy, Lollardy and the common people in fourteenth-century England (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2006), 26–8. 19 Alastair Minnis remains the authority on this subject; see

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
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Phillipp R. Schofield

course, than the peasantry or rural society per se ; the same is also the case for a closely related avenue of research which also offers some insight into associated aspects of peasant religious culture, namely the examination of later medieval heresy. Work on Lollardy in the fifteenth century, ongoing in the second half of the twentieth century and especially vibrant since the 1980s, has also inevitably drawn historians’ attention to the ways in which faith could be articulated in the medieval English countryside. Thus, for instance, the records of the Norwich

in Peasants and historians
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Mairi Cowan

few decades was sufficiently wealthy to generate an impressive book production and sufficiently powerful to count among its members knights at the court of Richard II, but Lollardy grew increasingly feeble through the first half of the fifteenth century and, after the English introduction of the death penalty for heresy in 1401, a combination of highprofile trials and popular opposition caused it to lose its

in Death, life, and religious change in Scottish towns, c.1350–1560
The role of Noah’s wife in the Chester play of Noah’s Flood
Lawrence Besserman

political life into scriptural narrative’. 28 The cycle plays are not necessarily Lollard in their theologies, but ‘they do emerge from the same cultural pressures that produced Lollardy’. 29 Simpson asserts that the York and Chester plays consistently ‘promote a vernacular theology that is seriously critical of academic, episcopal, and royal repression of new religious movements’ – and, I would add, a vernacular theology seriously critical of patriarchal repression of

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama