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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.

–97), whose Discourse on Sacred and Profane Images of 1582 contains one of the fullest statements of Counter-Reformation views on art. 25 When Paleotti gets to defining what kinds of works are unacceptable, he devotes entire chapters to paintings of each of the following sorts: those that are false and mendacious; that are improbable; that are indecorous; that lack proportion; that are imperfect; that are useless and vain, or ridiculous, or with unusual and new subjects, or with obscure meanings; that are imprecise, crude and frightening, or monstrous; plus no fewer

in Indispensable immigrants
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iterations of this story, but the larger outlines of the episode are fairly consistent. Helena, Emperor Constantine’s mother, was led by divine guidance to a place that ‘was virtually forgotten’. After excavating the site and clearing the ‘profane and polluting objects’ (a statue of Venus and perhaps other pagan items) that the Romans had placed there to mislead people, she found not one, but all three crosses

in Affective medievalism

castle) was thought to have been dedicated to St Columcille by In Sinnach’s ancestor approximately 640 years earlier.104 Being some of the only stone structures in Ireland, such ecclesiastical foundations were often utilised as storehouses for their secular patrons. Consequently, they were military targets. Irish warfare could involve the systematic destruction of enemy churches, and an Irish king’s death was frequently said to have been in reparation to the saints whose churches they had profaned. For instance, the Annals of Loch Cé report that Diarmait Mac Murchada

in Lordship in four realms

Foreigners; For ’tis a burning to me this day That William Gorm [de Lacy] should profane me. I will grant, without deceit, And the noble saints of Ireland also. That William Gorm shall not obtain, thereafter, Power over the Irish (Gaedhil), until doom.139 The following year, 1227, William successfully rebuilt the castle of Athleague and received a yearly stipend at the Dublin Exchequer for 184 sheriff of herefordshire: 1216–22 his support in the king’s service.140 Although he had other interests in England and Wales, and served the English king in France,141 an

in Lordship in four realms

’s activities, and their perceptions of themselves and the world they inhabited. My feelings of unease are not unique. Michael Camille has warned that ‘[o]ur modern notion of the separateness of sacred and profane experience’ may cause us to underestimate the breadth of medieval culture and the interpenetration of the secular and the spiritual within it. 4 James K. Farge cautions that the modern world’s ‘[deft separation of] the sacred from the secular’ makes it hard to comprehend why, in sixteenth-century France, the Parlement de Paris was even more dedicated than the

in Law, laity and solidarities
Chaucerian Beckets

obscene badges. In a replication of the replications that matches those of the Pardoner’s bodies, profane brooches fuse the desire for devotional objects with the desire for sexual exhibitionism. These erotic devotional objects parade a variety of saintly re-presentations. A religious procession, for instance, in which a saint is carried on a bier, is fashioned from three phalluses bearing up a crowned vulva. An oval-shaped brooch which looks like a pilgrim turns out, on closer inspection, to be a vagina (see Plate 4). Genitalia and pilgrims cannot be separated. The

in Transporting Chaucer
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Transporting Chaucer

productions, between maker and made, and between sacred and profane. In the process – and this is what is distinctively Chaucerian – that traffic of human bodies transports literary corpora. Literary works written in the past keep present company with those in the process of being made. The movement of Chaucerian bodies makes texts float free through the boundaries that have come to be seen to hold 10 Transporting Chaucer them up in proper place.17 Chaucer arrives before later writers and critics at a future he has already fashioned. Bodily transport between Chaucer

in Transporting Chaucer

, in a more profane moment, enhancing the charms of Tryphera as she prepares for the seductive dance by which she will bring about the death of John the Baptist. The finishing touch to her toilette is again perfume: En fragrantes accipe Odores (p. 316), her mother enjoins. This scene is exceptionally heavy on props, although they may also be interpreted as costumes: when Tryphera is dressing to dance before Herod, Herodias describes in great detail the jewels with which she adorns herself and Tryphera. She commands the Syrian girl to bring ring-cases, jewels

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama