This interdisciplinary study of competing representations of the Virgin Mary examines how anxieties about religious and gender identities intersected to create public controversies that, whilst ostensibly about theology and liturgy, were also attempts to define the role and nature of women. Drawing on a variety of sources, this book seeks to revise understanding of the Victorian religious landscape, both retrieving Catholics from the cultural margins to which they are usually relegated, and calling for a reassessment of the Protestant attitude to the feminine ideal.
This book offers a range of new perspectives on the character and reputation of English monasteries in the later middle ages. The later middle ages was an era of evolution in English monastic life in late medieval England. The book surveys the internal affairs of English monasteries, including recruitment, the monastic economy, and the standards of observance and learning. It looks at the relations between monasteries and the world, exploring the monastic contribution to late medieval religion and society and lay attitudes towards monks and nuns in the years leading up to the Dissolution. The book covers both male and female houses of all orders and sizes. The late medieval 'reforms' of the Benedictine Order included a relaxation of observances on diet, the common life and private property, and little of the Cistercians' primitive austerity can be found in late medieval houses of the order. Monastic spirituality can rarely be accessed through visitation evidence or administrative records, although an impression of the devotional climate within individual houses is occasionally provided by monastic chronicles. Looking beyond the statistics of foundation and dissolution alone, levels of support for the monastic ideal in late medieval England might also be assessed from the evidence of lay patronage of existing houses.
Knowing William Shakespeare better, we are better equipped to know his plays. Better knowing his plays brings us closer to knowing him. This book suggests that Shakespeare wrote not only for the mass audience, but simultaneously for that stratum of cognoscenti whom Gabriel Harvey dubbed 'the wiser sort.' It identifies many passages in the plays which Shakespeare resolves famous cruces which scholars have never been able to unravel, and casts new light on Shakespeare's mind and method. Shakespeare wrote into Julius Caesar more than one passage intelligible only to that handful of the wiser sort who had read Plutarch and knew their Suetonius. Into Macbeth Shakespeare injected a detail accessible only to the few intrepid souls brave or reckless enough to have cast the horoscope of King James I. We find a poem in Hamlet, where the prince invites his love and bandies matters of cosmology which were burning issues (literally) throughout Shakespeare's lifetime. While Julius Caesar's old Julian calendar prevailed in England its rival, the scientifically correct Gregorian reformed calendar, dominated most of Europe. Shakespeare suffused his plays with references to calendrical anomalies, as seen in Othello. By relating Shakespeare's texts, the Renaissance calendars and the liturgy, the book produces a lexicon apt for parsing the time-riddles in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare handled religious subjects, examined and interrogated the dogmas of the received religions, and parodied the Crucifixion by exploiting Holinshed's account of the persecution and assassination of York.
of recent (i.e. post-1980s) work on the English parish. Here,
as members of the laity, the gentry would have been exposed to the music
of the liturgy of the pre-Reformation church. In the parish church this
meant song: male-voiced, mainly plainchant (sometimes polyphonic)
setting Latin texts, sometimes accompanied by an organ located in a rood
loft (above the screen separating the eastern end of the church from the
, we will focus on how French and English Catholic writers subvert the ideal of a mind-centred view of reality by attempting to portray a common, ecclesial vision of the meaning and purpose of the cosmos. To this end we will consider, first, their preoccupation with hierarchically defined doctrines, second, the themacity which the dogma of the incarnation attains in much Catholic writing, and lastly the imaginative rehearsal of cosmic meaning and purpose to be found in literary depictions of the Catholic liturgy.
At the heart of this book is biblical mediation, a concept both widely familiar – in practice if not in as an explicit theory – and surprisingly elusive. That images and literature, liturgy and sermons were all central in explicating the Bible to the medieval populace is beyond doubt. How such access was constituted or what was its impact, is less evident. Did all media, whether illuminated on a page, sung by a choir, or preached by a friar transmit the Bible in the same way? Were different facets of the Bible more likely to appear in oral, performative, or
specific form of biblical knowledge, it was the medium that contributed associations, emphases, sensory and emotional experiences, in dialogue with the complexity and multiple layers of the Bible itself.
The shift of emphasis from origins to mediation reveals the unique characteristics of individual channels of transmission. Different media transmitted the Bible in very different ways. Liturgy and preaching were two of the most strongly connected forms of biblical mediation. They shared performative and textual elements, as well as a need to
– some previously unknown in this context ( Figures 5.1–4
). The basis for the liturgy of this Visitatio Sepulchri is provided by the four Gospel accounts of the visit of the Marys to the tomb of Christ. This liturgy is of fundamental significance for both the development of religious drama, and for an understanding of the origins of European theatre as a whole.
Presentations of the Latin liturgy of the Visitatio Sepulchri within church services were performatively enhanced
This book aims to revisit the county study as a way into understanding the
dynamics of the English civil war during the 1640s. It explores gentry culture
and the extent to which early Stuart Cheshire could be said to be a ‘county
community’. It investigates the responses of the county’s governing elite and
puritan religious establishment to highly polarising interventions by the
central government and Laudian ecclesiastical authorities during Charles I’s
Personal Rule. The second half of the book provides a rich and detailed analysis
of the petitioning movements and side-taking in Cheshire during 1641-42. This
important contribution to understanding the local origins and outbreak of civil
war in England will be of interest to all students and scholars studying the
-Arnoul used female commemoration to claim continuity and
authority across a millennium. During the early Middle Ages,
St-Arnoul intertwined traditions of royal, female commemorative
practice with its own foundation and history; through liturgy that
accentuated the women of the nascent Carolingian dynasty, a saintly
lineage was constructed for the monastery itself. In subsequent
eras, this narrative provided a means of forging durable meanings:
the performances of real and symbolic women were used to create
institutional and familial stability during periods of political