The spirituality of Brunswick Chapel, Leeds, in the Victorian era illustrates the legacy of John Wesley when Wesleyan Methodism was a power in the land. The priorities were conversion, turning to Christ in repentance and faith, the Bible as the source of divine instruction, the cross as the way in which salvation was achieved and activism as the proper human response. These features were prominent in the whole of the broader Evangelical movement which Wesley inaugurated. There was concern with death, and especially last words, in providing evidence of the assurance on which Wesley insisted and which was cultivated in the class meetings he began. Prayer, Charles Wesley’s hymns and sermons loomed large. Men and women had their own channels for the expression of piety, but some avenues, especially in Sunday school teaching, were open to either sex. Some still professed Wesley’s sublime doctrine of entire sanctification. Towards the end of the period there were signs that the tradition was decaying, with the spirituality becoming shallower, but for the bulk of the period the tradition was flourishing.
You will give praise to Satan
(Deicide, ‘Crucifixation’, 1990)
Inner experience of the maggot
While trawling the internet’s darker corridors looking for inspiration, Slipknot’s
vocalist Corey Taylor came across a website located at www.crimescene.com
(1998). The site recounted the case of a murdered college student. In March
1997, 20-year-old Ariadne Purity Knight was kidnapped by an ex-lover who
eventually buried her alive in a home-made wooden coffin. In May the abductor sent three documents to the police
use of more circumstantial evidence to illustrate the
importance of the liturgy and some of the ways it was changing in
the later middle ages. As the biography of Thomas de la Mare
indicates, the liturgy was also an important component in monastic
spirituality. This facet of the religious life is not easy to
recapture, partly because of the limited and often inaccessible
Although Catherine Livingston Garrettson (1752–1849) initially encountered feelings of isolation upon converting to Methodism, she discovered that the written word allowed her to engage in relational rather than solitary religious experiences. Over time, the written word helped her create a web of meaningful ties with imagined and actual kin and motivated her to form, develop and foster additional relationships in multiple contexts. Garrettson’s story thus demonstrates the need to consider how the real and imagined communities encountered through reading and constructed through writing have played a role in the spiritual development of early American women. Indeed, women’s experiences serve not simply to explain aspects of American social development, but to illuminate their broader world of connections – familial, religious, social and literary.
Ann Griffiths (1776-1805), was until comparatively recently the only female poet
of any real prominence in the Welsh literary tradition. Born Ann Thomas, she
lived all her life in rural Montgomeryshire. Ann experienced evangelical
conversion aged 20 and joined the Calvinistic Methodists. She became noted for
the depth of her spirituality and began producing verses encapsulating her
insights and experiences. Of the seventy-three stanzas and eight letters
attributed to her, only one letter and one verse survive in her own hand, most
of the extant verses having been transmitted orally to her maidservant, Ruth
Evans. About two-thirds were published in early 1806, a few months after Anns
death following childbirth, and were immediately acknowledged as religious verse
of the highest order. They are characterized by a fervent subjectivism blended
with an objective wondering and a plethora of biblical allusions and typology.
The transmission of her hymns and letters has taken various forms - oral,
manuscript and print - and most recently electronically, on the ‘Ann Griffiths
Website’ in particular.
What was distinctive about the founding principles and practices of Quakerism? This book explores how the Light Within became the organising principles of this seventeenth-century movement, inaugurating an influential dissolution of the boundary between the human and the divine. Taking an original perspective on this most enduring of radical religious groups, it combines literary and historical approaches to produce a fresh study of Quaker cultural practice. Close readings of George Fox's Journal are put in dialogue with the voices of other early Friends and their critics to argue that the ‘light within’ set the terms for the unique Quaker mode of embodying spirituality and inhabiting the world. This study of the cultural consequences of a bedrock belief shows how the Quaker spiritual self was premised on a profound continuity between sinful subjects and godly omnipotence. It will be of interest not only to scholars and students of seventeenth-century literature and history, but also to those concerned with the Quaker movement, spirituality and the changing meanings of religious practice in the early modern period.
This book offers a range of new perspectives on the character and reputation of English monasteries in the later middle ages. The later middle ages was an era of evolution in English monastic life in late medieval England. The book surveys the internal affairs of English monasteries, including recruitment, the monastic economy, and the standards of observance and learning. It looks at the relations between monasteries and the world, exploring the monastic contribution to late medieval religion and society and lay attitudes towards monks and nuns in the years leading up to the Dissolution. The book covers both male and female houses of all orders and sizes. The late medieval 'reforms' of the Benedictine Order included a relaxation of observances on diet, the common life and private property, and little of the Cistercians' primitive austerity can be found in late medieval houses of the order. Monastic spirituality can rarely be accessed through visitation evidence or administrative records, although an impression of the devotional climate within individual houses is occasionally provided by monastic chronicles. Looking beyond the statistics of foundation and dissolution alone, levels of support for the monastic ideal in late medieval England might also be assessed from the evidence of lay patronage of existing houses.
Over the last two decades, global demand for kosher products has been growing steadily, and many non-religious consumers view kosher as a healthy food option: in the US over 60 per cent of kosher food consumption is linked to non-religious values associated with health and food quality. This book explores the emergence and expansion of global kosher and halal markets with a particular focus on the UK and Denmark. While Kosher is a Hebrew term meaning 'fit' or 'proper', halal is an Arabic word that literally means 'permissible' or 'lawful'. The book discusses the manufacture and production of kosher and halal meat (both red meat and poultry) with specific reference to audits/inspections, legislation, networking, product innovation and certification. It draws on contemporary empirical material to explore kosher and halal comparatively at different levels of the social scale, such as individual consumption, the marketplace, religious organisations and the state. It compares the major markets for kosher/halal in the UK with those in Denmark, where kosher/halal are important to smaller groups of religious consumers. Denmark plays an important role in biotechnology that is compatible with what we call kosher/halal transnational governmentality. The book explores how Jewish and Muslim consumers in the UK and Denmark understand and practice kosher consumption in their everyday lives. It also explores how 'compound practice' links eating with issues such as health and spirituality, for example, and with the influence of secularism and ritual.
Terms of reference
Attempts to understand the
spirituality of any age face a number of fundamental difficulties. Of
these, perhaps the most daunting is the need to try to penetrate minds.
Yet to do that is to open a Pandora’s box, subject to all the
issues of subjectivity and reality which bedevil any search for the
recreation of the past. 1
the ‘Beat vision’ of the 1950s lies behind the
‘Beat sound’ of the following decade. Taking my cue from Jack
Kerouac, the effective founder of the movement, I understand ‘Beat’ as
meaning primarily ‘beatific’. The implications of this will be spelt out
as we proceed, but for now I should emphasise that the overriding
assumption of the book is that the Beats initiated a new concern with
spirituality, the effects of which became evident in some of the more
adventurous popular music.
Having said that, I need to offer another proviso: this book is not
meant to be an