Rethinking ireland, 1954–75
Author: Tomás Finn

This book is concerned with political, intellectual and cultural developments in the context of assessments as to how Ireland was transformed during the 1950s and the 1960s. It analyses how Tuairim (meaning ‘opinion’ in Irish), an intellectual movement influenced key public policy decisions in relation to Northern Ireland, education, industrial schools and censorship.

An analysis of Tuairim shows that the 1950s and 1960s were a transformative phase in modern Irish history. In these years, a conservative society dominated by the Catholic Church, and a state which was inward-looking and distrustful of novelty, gradually opened up to fresh ideas. This study considers this change. It explores how Tuairim was at the vanguard of the challenge to orthodoxy and conservatism. The society established branches throughout Ireland, including Belfast, and in London. It produced frequent critical publications and boasted a number of members who later became prominent in Irish public life; this included the future Taoiseach, Dr Garret FitzGerald, Donal Barrington, later a Supreme Court Judge and Miriam Hederman O’Brien, a future Chancellor in the University of Limerick. Tuairim provided a unique space for civic engagement for its members and made a significant contribution to debates on contemporary Ireland and its future.

This book is concerned with the society’s role in the modernisation of Ireland. In so doing it also addresses topics of continued relevance for the Ireland of today, including the Northern Ireland Peace Process and the institutional care of children.

Visions of episcopacy in seventeenth-century France

This book explores how conceptions of episcopacy (government of a church by bishops) shaped the identity of the bishops of France in the wake of the reforming Council of Trent (1545–63). It demonstrates how the episcopate, initially demoralised by the Wars of Religion, developed a powerful ideology of privilege, leadership and pastorate that enabled it to become a flourishing participant in the religious, political and social life of the ancien regime. The book analyses the attitudes of Tridentine bishops towards their office by considering the French episcopate as a recognisable caste, possessing a variety of theological and political principles that allowed it to dominate the French church.

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Thirteenth-century exempla from the British Isles
Author: David Jones

Exempla, the stories with which preachers enlivened their sermons and impressed salutary moral lessons on their hearers, have long been appreciated as a source of key importance for medieval history. They played an important part in popular preaching and yet, for all the work being published on preaching and on the mendicant orders more generally, little of the abundant primary material is available in English translation. This book presents translation material from two collections of exempla assembled in the British Isles in the last quarter of the thirteenth century. One, the Liber Exemplorum (LE), was compiled by an English Franciscan working in Ireland. The other, probably the work of an English Dominican based in Cambridge (DC), is represented by fifty-two stories, about one-sixth of the total. These two collections are important because they are among the earliest to survive from the British Isles. Their short, pithy narratives are not limited to matters of Church doctrine and practice, but touch on a wide range of more mundane matters and provide vivid snapshots of medieval life in the broadest sense. The first part of the collection is chiefly devoted to Christ and the Virgin, the Mass and the saving power of the Cross. The second part has exempla on a wide variety of doctrinal, moral and other topics. These include the vices, the virtues, the sacraments and church practice, and the sins and other failings thought to beset particular professions or groups.

Religion, politics and the past in post-revolutionary England

Reformation without end reinterprets the English Reformation. No one in eighteenth-century England thought that they lived during ‘the Enlightenment’. Instead, they thought that they still faced the religious, intellectual and political problems unleashed by the Reformation, which began in the sixteenth century. They faced those problems, though, in the aftermath of two bloody seventeenth-century political and religious revolutions.

This book is about the ways the eighteenth-century English debated the causes and consequences of those seventeenth-century revolutions. Those living in post-revolutionary England conceived themselves as living in the midst of the very thing which they thought had caused the revolutions: the Reformation. The reasons for and the legacy of the Reformation remained hotly debated in post-revolutionary England because the religious and political issues it had generated remained unresolved and that irresolution threatened more civil unrest. For this reason, most that got published during the eighteenth century concerned religion. This book looks closely at the careers of four of the eighteenth century’s most important polemical divines, Daniel Waterland, Conyers Middleton, Zachary Grey and William Warburton. It relies on a wide range of manuscript sources, including annotated books and unpublished drafts, to show how eighteenth-century authors crafted and pitched their works.

Monastic exemption in France, c. 590– c. 1100

This book examines the history of monastic exemption in France. It maps an institutional story of monastic freedom and protection, which is deeply rooted in the religious, political, social, and legal culture of the early Middle Ages. Traversing many geo-political boundaries and fields of historical specialisation, this book evaluates the nature and extent of papal involvement in French monasteries between the sixth and eleventh centuries. Defining the meaning and value of exemption to medieval contemporaries during this era, it demonstrates how the papacy’s commitment, cooperation, and intervention transformed existing ecclesiastical and political structures. Charting the elaboration of monastic exemption privileges from a marginalised to centralised practice, this book asks why so many French monasteries were seeking exemption privileges directly from Rome; what significance they held for monks, bishops, secular rulers, and popes; how and why this practice developed throughout the early Middle Ages; and, ultimately, what impact monastic exemption had on the emerging identity of papal authority, the growth of early monasticism, Frankish politics and governance, church reform, and canon law.

Preaching, polemic and Restoration nonconformity

This book explores the religious, political and cultural implications of a collision of highly charged polemic prompted by the mass ejection of Puritan ministers from the Church of England in 1662, providing an in-depth study of this heated exchange centring on the departing ministers' farewell sermons. Many of these valedictions, delivered by hundreds of dissenting preachers in the weeks before Bartholomew's Day, would be illegally printed and widely distributed, provoking a furious response from government officials, magistrates and bishops. The book re-interprets the political significance of ostensibly moderate Puritan clergy, arguing that their preaching posed a credible threat to the restored political order.

Methodist missionaries in colonial and postcolonial Upper Burma, 1887–1966

The first British Methodist missionaries came to Upper Burma in 1887 and the last left in 1966. They were known as 'Wesleyans' before 1932 and afterwards as 'Methodists'. This book is a study of the ambitions, activities and achievements of Methodist missionaries in northern Burma from 1887-1966 and the expulsion of the last missionaries by Ne Win. Henry Venn, the impeccably evangelical Secretary of the Church Missionary Society (CMS), was the most distinguished and inspiring of nineteenth-century mission administrators. Wesleyan missionaries often found property development more congenial than saving souls. In Pakokku in December 1905, a 'weak' American missionary from Myingyan and a couple of Baptist Burman government officials began 'totally immersing' Wesleyans. Proselytism was officially frowned upon in the Indian Empire. The Wesley high schools were extraordinarily successful during the early years of the twentieth century. The Colonial Government was investing heavily in education. A bamboo curtain descended on Upper Burma in May 1942. Wesley Church Mandalay was gutted during the bombing raids of April 1942 and the Japanese requisitioned the Mission House and the Girls High School soon afterwards. General Ne Win was ruthlessly radical in 1962. By April 1964 Bishop was the last 'front-line' Methodist missionary in Upper Burma and the last European of any sort in Monywa. The book pulls together the themes of conflict, politics and proselytisation in to a fascinating study of great breadth.

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Faith, religion and observance before the Reformation
Author: R. N. Swanson

This book seeks to explore the nature of religious belief and practice in pre-Reformation England. For most people in England the main access to the Bible, and indeed to instruction in the faith, would be through hearing priests from their pulpits. The book demonstrates with immediacy and potency the diverse expressions of faith and observance. It discusses the varieties of spirituality in later medieval England and the ways in which they received expression, through participation in church services, actions like pilgrimages, charitable foundations, devotional readings and instruction. Opposition to prevailing spirituality, expressed through 'Lollardy', is also considered. There is a great deal of written evidence for both the theory and the practice of late medieval English religion and spirituality. The mass was the central ceremony of the Church: the consecration of the bread and wine to become the body and blood of Christ. Within Christianity, the principal focus of devotion was necessarily the divinity, in particular Christ, the second person of the Trinity. While there was considerable concern to accumulate spiritual benefits during life, the most important issue was to secure salvation after death. For those who sought advanced domestic spiritual satisfaction, an episcopal licence for the celebration of divine offices within a private chapel or oratory was necessary.

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La Pucelle
Author: Craig Taylor

This book collects together for the first time in English the major documents relating to the life and contemporary reputation of Joan of Arc. Also known as La Pucelle, she led a French Army against the English in 1429, arguably turning the course of the war in favour of the French king Charles VII. The story of Joan of Arc has continued to elicit an extraordinary range of reactions throughout almost six centuries since her death. Her story ended tragically in 1431 when she was put on trial for heresy and sorcery by an ecclesiastical court and was burned at the stake. The book shows how the trial, which was organised by her enemies, provides an important window into late medieval attitudes towards religion and gender. Joan was effectively persecuted by the established Church for her supposedly non-conformist views on spirituality and the role of women. She was ransomed by her captors to their English allies who in turn handed her over to the Church to be tried and finally executed for heresy at Rouen on 30 May 1431. This slur against her reputation would remain until her friends and acquaintances gave evidence before a Nullification trial that eventually overturned the earlier judgement against her on 7 July 1456. The textual records of the Nullification trial also present problems for modern scholars, parallel to those for the original Rouen trial.

This book explores the theory and practice of authority during the later sixteenth century, in the religious culture and political institutions of the city of Nantes, where the religious wars traditionally came to an end with the great Edict of 1598. The Wars of Religion witnessed serious challenges to the authority of the last Valois kings of France. In an examination of the municipal and ecclesiastical records of Nantes, the author considers challenges to authority, and its renegotiation and reconstruction in the city, during the civil war period. After a detailed survey of the socio-economic structures of the mid-sixteenth-century city, successive chapters detail the growth of the Protestant church, assess the impact of sectarian conflict and the early counter reform movement on the Catholic Church, and evaluate the changing political relations of the city council with the urban population and with the French crown. Finally, the book focuses on the Catholic League rebellion against the king and the question of why Nantes held out against Henry IV longer than any other French city.