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.

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insisted that the sacrament was indeed an accident without a substance, and that this position was fully consistent with orthodox ecclesiastical teaching. 5 It could be no coincidence, he must have thought, that the second of his conclusions condemned as heresy there was precisely that an accident could not remain without a substance in the consecrated host ( 46 ). This text also provides one of the clearest articulations of Wyclif’s own position in respect of the Eucharist. Both the bread and the body of Christ are present in the host, he argues here, but the former is

in John Wyclif

Wyclif’s views on sacramental theology are difficult to summarise collectively, but much of what he said on the topic was generally concerned with removing a particular sacrament from its ceremonial or accidental trappings, rather than questioning its necessity. The only sacrament about which he expressed some doubt is confirmation, but, even here, it would seem to be its administration at the hands of bishops that is the true target of the doubts he expresses. His beliefs about the process of sacramental change in the eucharist

in John Wyclif
From Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry to British Romantic art

The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.

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than description. 6 8. Instructions for the laity in preparation for the mass [From T. F. Simmons, ed., The Lay Folks’ Mass Book , Early English Text Society, original ser., LXXI 1879 , pp. 122-7; in English] HERE FOLLOWS A PRECIOUS CONSIDERATION, HOW A MAN SHALL MAKE HIMSELF PURE AND PERFECTLY CLEANSED BEFORE RECEIVING THE SACRAMENT OF THE

in Catholic England
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-evangelised Catholics.28 Missions encouraged a variety of pious activities including receiving communion, frequent confession, reciting the rosary, following the stations of the cross and attending pilgrimages and processions. Prayer and devotion were encouraged through novenas, benedictions, expositions of the Blessed Sacrament, the Quaran’ Ore and special devotions to the Holy Family or the Sacred Heart. Devotional aids such as scapulars, medals and rosaries were also advocated.29 Missions lasted for days or weeks, and their achievements were heralded by the Catholic faithful. In

in Contested identities

the same. (viii) Church of Charlton [no. 65] Item, that divine service is not held as it ought to be, nor is the sacrament fittingly administered, to the extent that one Stevynsone of the said parish recently died without confession or communion. Item, that the parson does not keep residence or hospitality among his parishioners, and comes but

in Catholic England

The regulation of midwives in the Early Modern period prescribed the moral and social conduct of the midwife, placing far greater emphasis on her character and integrity than on her practice and competence. This was because of the important role that the midwife was assigned in performing the sacrament of baptism during childbirth. When the infant was frail or in danger of dying, it was required that she carry out emergency baptism. In such cases of necessity, regulation in the form of maintaining sacramental

in Early Modern Ireland and the world of medicine

the prescriptions of the church, while others – the majority no doubt – could not manage to receive the sacrament three times a year as the church stipulated nor to attend its fasts and festivals. There is no sign of the wide penumbra of para-liturgical or ‘folk’ practices that we would associate with ‘popular religion’ in contemporary Catholic Europe. Lay commitment to the Church of England is no easier to stratify into

in The later Stuart Church, 1660–1714

doubt about his illness. The public bulletin on his health, published in Versailles on 30 April, baldly announced the diagnosis.19 At a quarter to eight that evening, Paris echoed to the tolling of the great bells of Notre Dame announcing the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, there and in all churches throughout the city and suburbs, confirming the seriousness of the king’s condition.20 A planned memorial mass for the charitable princesse de Talmond, with a fundraising sermon in aid of the foundlings she supported, was postponed.21 More mundanely, traiteurs were

in Death and the crown