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Pastoral care in the parish church

3 Sacred and profane: Pastoral care in the parish church The fourteenth-century conduct poem How the Goode Wife Taught Hyr Doughter begins by establishing the centrality of the church in the life of the medieval laywoman. Good conduct on the part of the daughter is founded upon supporting the parish church: spiritually, financially, and through good behaviour. Doughter, and thou wylle be a wyfe, Wysely to wyrche in all thi lyfe Serve God, and kepe thy chyrche, And myche the better thou shal wyrche. To go to chyrch, lette for no reyne, And that schall helpe thee

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

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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is implicit and frequently made explicit in early modern texts. As Sidney notes in his peroration to A Defence of Poetry , ‘there are many mysteries contained in poetry, which of purpose were written darkly, lest by profane wits it should be abused’. 2 This is not a darkness that can be dissolved by a more enlightened criticism, although some forms of reading seem to me to be more

in The sense of early modern writing

apparently distinct but subtly interwoven and thematically integrated narratives. Since Joseph Slade’s early discussion of the novel, critics have commonly noted that one of the novel’s central oppositions, that which is set up between the contrasting perspectives of its two protagonists, at first sight seems very closely to echo the narrative dynamic of ‘Entropy’, which we discussed in the first chapter.2 The presentation of Benny Profane and Herbert Stencil mirrors the opposition between Mulligan and Callisto: the chaotic and never fully engaged wandering of Profane

in Thomas Pynchon

profane’ monarch: The Character of Profaneness of Humor is utterly false. For no Man in the World kept more Decorum in his Expressions and Behaviour … than the King did; and scarce ever failed the Service and Sermon, with the Sacraments at the stated Times; Healings, and Washing of the Feet of the Poor, as the

in Historical literatures

the poems stands the old Platonic conception which runs through the whole tradition of romantic love, that, in Owen Barfield’s formulation in his History in English Words , ‘love for a sensual and temporal object is capable of metamorphosis into love for the invisible and eternal’. 6 Hill has made use of a peculiar facet of this association in the lyrics of sixteenth-century Counter-Reformation Spain where popular profane lyrics were re-written, or parodied , in religious terms by Lope de Vega and others. R. O. Jones, 7 one of Hill’s source references, tells us

in Acceptable words
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Inherent Vice as Pynchon Lite?

-creating as they are for Stencil or simply the random and unmotivated coincidences they become in Profane’s meanderings in V. Equally, as Kakutani and Taylor note in their reviews, the sheer Conclusion 219 scope and range of intertextual cross-reference that we explored in our discussions of V. and Gravity’s Rainbow are much less evident in Inherent Vice. In V., for example, the continual refraction and refocusing of events through the lenses of a constantly transforming literary style, ranging from the avant-garde and modernist modes of Stencil’s ‘forcible dislocations

in Thomas Pynchon
Power, presentation and history in Gravity’s Rainbow

Lieutenant, Tyrone Slothrop, who comes as close as anyone in the novel to being the main protagonist. Slothrop is a figure cast from the same mould as V.’s Benny Profane: a chubby, comical anti-hero fascinated by women, drugs, comic-books and loud clothing, and apparently largely uninterested in the wider political struggles of his time, who drifts around the city between (possibly imagined) sexual encounters that he records on a map of London, which draws the attention of the various competing groups and agencies because each star on the map appears to anticipate the

in Thomas Pynchon
Coupland and postmodern spirituality

their theological critique from ‘those who decry the decline of Western civilization’ and suggest that ‘a profound, profane, honest discussion of God, the devil, death, and the afterlife is sweeping pop culture’.33 ‘[I]mpropriety and irreverence’, Beaudoin suggests, are the 140 Douglas Coupland counterintuitive traits of a surreptitiously religious postmodern generation.34 Coupland’s fiction draws on a similar spirit of sacred irreverence as a way towards a renewed rather than inherited spirituality. This mischievous (virtual) theology is revealed primarily in the

in Douglas Coupland
The Story of Lucy Gault

much essential in coming to terms with a novel the narrative of which evokes generally recognisable national and historical milieux – Ireland from the War of Independence to contemporary times, Italy during the rise of fascism, neutral Switzerland in war-time – while at the same time offering allegorical lines of flight that disrupt its seemingly placid narrative and its apparent realism. In its tendency to elevate and devalue what Walter Benjamin terms, the ‘profane’,6 the given or the manifest content within textuality, allegory operates simultaneously in

in William Trevor