This book has so far sought to explore the writings of the French and English Catholic literary revivals in the context of the secularisation of the individual and society. The aim has been to get beyond the limitations of confessional labels and to explore some of their inner dynamics in ways that cast more light on the confrontation between secularisation and resistance to it.
One possible objection, however, to the critics of secularisation is that the indices of religiosity in society show that
As we saw in Chapter 7 , the French and English Catholic writers conceptualised dogma, the incarnation and liturgy in ways that favoured the corporate form of Catholic religiosity while undermining buffered individuality and the notion of a meaningless and purposeless cosmos. Still, the problems for a Church that claimed divine origins were considerable in a secular context. Secular culture considered the notion of God’s direct intervention in history as problematic. Likewise, secular mentalities all too often saw the hierarchical Church as an authoritarian and
This is the first of a two-volume textbook that is aimed at first-year undergraduates as they begin their study of medieval history. It covers the period from the so-called ‘fall of Rome’ in the course of the fifth century through to the ‘Norman moment’ in the course of the eleventh. The textbook covers the broad geographical area defined by the former Western Roman Empire in an even-handed fashion, giving equal attention to Iberia and to Sicily as to England and to Francia. Each chapter deals with a given region within a defined chronological framework, but is structured thematically, and deliberately avoids a narrative presentation. The topics of governmentality, identity and religiosity serve as broad overarching categories with which to structure each chapter. The authors outline the scholarly debates within each field, explaining to a student audience what is at stake in those debates, and how different bodies of evidence and different interpretations of that evidence give rise to different perspectives upon early medieval European history. Medieval history can seem to the student as if it were an impenetrable thicket of agreed fact that just has to be learned: nothing could be further from the truth, and this textbook sets out to open the way to an engaged understanding of the period and its sources.
Gender and conversion in the early modern Mediterranean
susceptible to conversion, is deeply
rooted. In modern western societies, sociologists of religion have
found that ‘women are more religious than men on every measure
of religiosity’, this despite the historical misogyny of
Christianity and the fact that women continue to be systematically
excluded from most positions of ecclesiastical authority.
Women’s heightened religiosity has been
confronted head on in both of Paul Fouracre’s chapters, which cover topics traditionally understood exclusively on the basis of Frankish resources.
Each chapter is divided thematically. It would be impossible to introduce you to every topic of current debate in relation to the geographical and chronological areas covered in the chapters of this volume. We have chosen governmentality, identity and religiosity as the three guiding themes by which to structure each chapter. The aim is for you to be able to follow a coherent path from chapter to chapter in the
and his contemporaries were clear about who belonged to the royal descent-line, and what people and property kept it going. 9 ‘The Carolingian dynasty’ was a convenient label for historians to use in later centuries. For contemporaries, the dynasty was embodied in a family group composed of the living and the dead. It changed shape through time, self-consciously and assiduously, but also selectively, cultivating memories of its own past, and generating forms of governmentality, identity and religiosity specific to what might be called ‘a family-state’. 10
defined far more by their religiosity than by their identification with the
State, gradually evolved towards a nationalist outlook. The first section
looks at how closely Catholicism was identified with the Hispanic
monarchy at the time of the Counter-Reformation. The second section
examines the purges of the non-Catholic minorities in Iberian society
in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, something which left a lasting
imprint upon the way in which the dominant religiosity was understood. The third section analyses the significance of the celebrated ‘alliance
these concluding remarks, I will tease out some of the tangled and
interwoven threads of continuity and change, as well as the contradictory and countervailing trends that have been examined in this study
of the spirituality and popular religiosity of Catholics in England from
1945 to 1982. The Pope’s ‘Paradoxical People’8 gathered in Heaton Park
(and earlier in the month at Wembley Stadium), presented a markedly
different tableau vivant to those assembled to celebrate the Restoration of
the Catholic Hierarchy of England and Wales in 1950 and singing ‘God
war, was a central part of their function. 52 In this respect it is impossible to separate what we might see as the two characteristic activities connected with the vikings.
IDENTITY and RELIGIOSITY
Questions around identity and religiosity are also related to the issues around state formation in the North Sea world. These two categories are in themselves especially difficult to disentangle in the Scandinavian world, for at least two reasons. First, much of the terminology applied to the vikings in the early part of the Viking Age was framed in
political life in Northern Ireland? Finally, it asks
whether social divisions really have anything to do with religion? Both
these questions explore what Northern Ireland was like during violent
conflict, and whether the situation is any different ‘after the troubles’.
How religious is contemporary Northern Irish society, and in what
While the pattern of religious change in Northern Ireland is complex and
varied, the region clearly continues to exhibit high levels of religiosity. First
of all, we can look at religious affiliations and see that only 14 per cent of