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Author: Laura Varnam

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.

Ann Buckley

, enabling indication of pitch differentiation, and the musical stave was invented in the early eleventh by Guido d’Arezzo (991/2–post 1033), these options were not necessarily availed of, depending most likely on the purpose of the manuscript and the requirements of its users. A further problem is the complete absence of notation for instrumental music, which belonged to the domain of oral tradition, leaving literary references, iconography and educated guesswork as the only means of reconstructing a performance history for medieval music up to the twelfth/ thirteenth

in Aspects of knowledge
Laura Varnam

, Performance Theory (London: Routledge, 2003), p. 127. 21 Manfred Pfister, The Theory and Analysis of Drama, trans. John Halliday (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 7. 22 Pfister, Theory and Analysis, p. 7. 23 Lawrence Sullivan, ‘Sound and senses: towards a hermeneutics of performance’, History of Religion, 26 (1986), 1–33, p. 8. 24 Evan M. Zuesse, ‘Ritual’, in Eliade (ed.), Encyclopedia, pp. 405–22, p. 406. 25 Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), pp. 117. 26 Durandus

in The church as sacred space in Middle English literature and culture