the Church of England. Were they those who attended church, or did the individual have to pass some stiffer test – such as confirmation, baptism or regular communion – before they could call themselves an Anglican? The Cornwall episode also shows how differently the ministry and the laity could view the Church. While Rudd saw it as an English transplant, his flock seem to have regarded the church as
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.
Irish Women and the Creation of Modern Catholicism is the only book-length study of lay Catholic women in modern Irish history. Focusing on the pivotal century from 1850 to 1950, it analyses the roles that middle-class, working-class, and rural poor lay women played in the evolution of Irish Catholicism and thus the creation of modern Irish identities. This project demonstrates that in an age of Church growth and renewal stretching from the aftermath of the Great Famine through the early years of the Irish Republic, lay women were essential to all aspects of Catholic devotional life, including both home-based religion and public Catholic rituals. It also reveals that women, by rejecting, negotiating, and reworking Church dictates, complicated Church and clerical authority. Irish Women and the Creation of Modern Catholicism re-evaluates the relationship between the institutional Church, the clergy, and women, positioning lay Catholic women as central actors in the making of modern Ireland. It also contests views that the increasing power of the Catholic Church caused a uniform decline in Irish women’s status after the Great Famine of the 1840s, revealing that middle-class, working-class, and rural poor lay women fought with their priests, dominated household religion, and led parish rituals, thus proving integral to the development of a modern Irish Catholic ethos and culture.
Sally Mayall Brasher
from society, but a life of apostolic service within society. Initially, church leadership begrudgingly welcomed the increased participation of an active laity in alleviating ills such as poverty, 168 Hospitals and charity indigence, and epidemics. While constantly trying to at least place ecclesiastical controls on this civic activism, papal policy unintentionally allowed for a wide variety of religious charitable experimentation. Communal need and institutional neglect led to the emergence of the medieval hospital as a widespread institutional phenomenon that
R. N. Swanson
-Reformation centuries was also assisted by the development of the cult of the Host as Corpus Christi, the embodiment of Christ, which provided a focus for a whole range of devotional celebrations, including plays. 4 Although they were eager to attend masses, the role of the laity was more that of spectators than participants, in a ceremony conducted in Latin, and
David J. Appleby
the ministers’ backgrounds and who and what they had come to represent by 1662. In many ways, the information contained within the farewell sermons presents a set of intimate Restoration tableaux, revealing much about the existence of clerical networks, as well as the preachers’ perception of the political issues at stake and their sense of religious identity. The second half of the chapter discusses the nature and role of the laity, 18 18 The context of Restoration nonconformity using the farewell sermons as an entry point through which to investigate the
English establishment. Henry Handley Norris, the prominent Hackney Phalanx member, credited Hobart with reviving his interest in Anglican self-government: Norris told Hobart in 1820 that the ‘great grievance’ of English churchmen was that they did not have a Convention – as the Americans did – where bishops, clergy and laity met to discuss the governance of the Church. The Church of England did have
Oliver P. Rafferty
their position and their property. If this did not work, they did not scruple to use violence against those whom they considered their enemies, whether laity or fellow clerics and monks. Another important aspect of early medieval Ireland was slavery. The church too owned slaves and although Christianity in general had an ambiguous attitude to slavery, in Ireland scribes were not above distorting the tradition to justify contemporary 4 Irish Catholic identities practices. Thus the Vita Tripatita of St Patrick has the saint, who was after all a runaway slave, buying
duties to care for souls because of such occupations, but their worldly abilities also made them valued members of the community, able to take on jobs requiring a high level of skill or literacy and act as witnesses to deeds executed in the parish church. 25 The urban laity, who had considerable authority over their parish clergy (see Chapter 3), appear to have been quite accepting of their priests’ worldly connections. So, if the
’s development, the grounds for support of private versus public poor relief for Protestant widows and children and stresses the crucial role that women played in the Societies’ work. Chapter 3 examines the child welfare system implemented by the DPOS, and the extent to which its policies were forward thinking and child and family centred. Chapter 4 highlights the opposing views of the extensive social service carried out by PO Societies and the meaning of the charity for the Church of Ireland laity, particularly women. Chapter 5 examines applicant profiles, widows’ reduced