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Placing the people at the heart of sacred space

religious experience. It is no surprise that the mid-fifteenth century saw the translation into Middle English of the sections of Durandus’s Rationale that dealt with this very relationship and formed the foundation of medieval thinking about architecture, community, and sanctity. What the Church Betokeneth is a text whose renewed relevance shows just how inseparable the 232 The church as sacred space in Middle English literature and culture material building and its congregation really were and it provides the enthusiastic supporters of England’s fair churches with a

in The church as sacred space in Middle English literature and culture
Abstract only
Pastoral care in the parish church

with the visual and material decorations of the parish church, taught the laity how to conduct themselves as good Christians, in particular with respect to the space of the church itself. The requirement for yearly confession meant that the laity needed to be able to identify their sins, and a major area of concern was the sins that took place in and around the parish church. This is crucial because it is specifically the sanctity of the church that is threatened by lay misbehaviour. It is the duty of the parish priest to teach his congregation how to behave in order

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

brought about by each congregation member’s individual conversion. As Donne himself puts it: ‘It hath alwaies beene the Lords way to glorifie himselfe in the conversion of Men, by the ministery of Men’ (VI, 10, 205). The traditional conclusion of each sermon – the word ‘Amen’ (from the Hebrew, meaning ‘So be it’/‘Truly’) – attests to the performative potential with which the sermon was believed to be endowed. The preacher was eager to exploit the sermon’s performative power, for example when he urges his listeners to dedicate themselves to Christ at the very moment of

in John Donne’s Performances
The abortive Northern Rebellion of 1663

, there had been a largely passive acceptance of the Commonwealth’s religious regime.30 Although pockets of Roman Catholicism were still seen as an ongoing issue in the Palatinate throughout the period, by the early 1660s it was to be nonconformity and the Baptist congregations, in particular, that were seen as the major threat. In Durham, as elsewhere in the country, religious dissent now tended to be associated with sedition, and the strength of the newly restored Church was soon used to impose some control on the area. The returning bishop, John Cosin, also held the

in From Republic to Restoration

, rejecting individual secularisation means not totally abandoning buffered individuality, but opening it to the possibilities which religious porosity makes available. Verlaine and Thompson exemplify in other words the openness of which immanence is capable. Marriage In a period of waxing secularisation which had seen divorce legislation and, in France, considerable hostility to religious congregations, it is no surprise that Christian marriage and the monastic life become key concerns for many Catholic writers. Seen in

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914

grip on all its ministers and congregations. It is therefore simple Protestant propaganda which makes people think of Scotland as a Presbyterian country. There were Catholic enclaves in plenty; the Episcopalian Church (essentially an Anglican version or imitation), flourished in various parts of the Lowlands; and a variety of -isms which rose to bestrew the religious landscape, like mushrooms in the night.41 In 1690, to be sure, the Westminster Parliament had attempted to impose Presbyterian government on Scotland by statute, but the results were not what that body

in Beyond the witch trials

migration by writing and they lived in a globalising world of political tension that centred on religious debate. For example, Elizabeth Avery, who first wrote in the late 1640s, had been brought up in exile in the Netherlands in the two decades before war. She spent time in the Fifth Monarchist congregation of John Rogers inside the Protestant Pale in Dublin and her brother was a Congregationalist minister in Boston.87 The missionary travel of Quaker women also exemplifies the lived experience of women politicised by their times. Quaker Anne Gargill travelled to Portugal

in From Republic to Restoration

3 Passionate performances – Poems erotic and divine for I Except you’enthrall mee, never shall be free, Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee. (‘Batter my heart’, ll. 12–14) Whereas Donne’s erotic poems are much indebted to religious metaphor, his nineteen ‘Holy Sonnets’ strongly rely on erotic imagery. After an analysis of Donne’s religiously erotic poems, these are now to be compared to his erotically religious poetry. As it engages in a histrionics of love making, Donne’s erotic poetry conceives of love as a matter of (artful) performance, hence subscribing

in John Donne’s Performances

contemporaries ‘shame not to say and affirm openly … that they learn as much or more at a Play, than they do at God’s word preached’.7 Clergymen, however, also experienced confessional conflict themselves and consequently could escalate the conflict amongst their parishioners. Despite the objections of their congregations we know that at least initially many persisted with old religious practices, and despite the best efforts of the authorities, other preachers also expounded on new, unsanctioned Puritan doctrine from their pulpits.8 Although non-​conforming clergy could leave

in Forms of faith

Shylock’s conversion. Act 4’s echoes of the passion and crucifixion are well known. But if Act 4 alludes to Good Friday, Act 5 alludes  2 22 Religious ritual and literary form to Holy Saturday and the dawning of Easter Sunday. Beginning with the love duet between Jessica and Lorenzo and continuing through the end of the play, Shakespeare repeatedly evokes the ancient Easter Vigil service, the heart of which involved the reception of new converts into the Church. This extended liturgical allusion suggests the play’s continuing preoccupation with Shylock; at the same

in Forms of faith