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Summary: Having in the previous seminar explored some of the basic frameworks of pre-Reformation religious life, in this seminar we will begin to explore more closely the actual content of religious belief, and the various functions it may have performed for different groups in society.

Seminar and essay questions:

a) Can any meaningful distinction be drawn between ‘elite’ and ‘popular’ religion in this period?

b) How important were the saints in late medieval religion?


C Harper-Bill, The Pre-Reformation Church, ch. 7 - again useful brief remarks for a)

F Heal, Reformation in Britain and Ireland (2003), ch. 3

K Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, ch 2 (a)

E Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars, intro, chs 5 (b); 6, 8 (a)

--------, ‘holy maydens, holy wyfes: The cult of women saints in fifteenth and sixteenth-century England’, in WJ Sheils and D Wood (eds), Women in the Church, Studies in Church History 27 (1990) (c)

-------, ‘Elite and popular religion: the Books of Hours and Lay Piety in the later middle ages’, in K Cooper and J Gregory (eds), Elite and Popular Religion, Studies in Church History, 42 (2005) [also essays in this vol. by Swanson and D’Avray] (a)

------, Marking the Hours: English People and the Prayers, 1240-1570 (2006)

P Marshall, Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation (2017), ch 1

C Richmond, ‘Religion and the Fifteenth-Century English Gentleman’ in RB Dobson (ed), The Church, Politics & Patronage in the Fifteenth Century (a) p/c in Library store

C Carpenter, ‘The Religion of the Gentry in Fifteenth-Century England’ in D Williams (ed), England in the Fifteenth Century (a)

GW Bernard, The Late Medieval English Church (2012), esp chs 5-7

RN Swanson, Church and Society in Late Medieval England, ch 6 (a)

-------------, Catholic England, intro (a, b); ch. 7 (c)

GW Bernard, ‘Vitality and Vulnerability in the Late Medieval Church: Pilgrimage on the Eve of the Break with Rome’, in John Watts, ed., The End of the Middle Ages? England in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (1998) (a)

C Morris and P Roberts (eds) Pilgrimage: The English Experience from Becket to Bunyan (2002), chs. By Rawcliffe, Duffy

S Brigden, ‘Religion and Social Obligation in early Sixteenth-Century London’, Past and Present (1984)

RW Scribner, ‘Ritual and Popular Belief in Catholic Germany’ in Scribner, Popular Culture and Popular Movements, and in Jounal of Ecclesiastical History (1984) - useful definitions and discussion for a)

Larissa Taylor, ‘Society and Piety’, in R. Hsia (ed.), A Companion to the Reformation World (2003)

C Peters, Patterns of Piety: Women, Gender and Religion in Late Medieval and Reformation England (2003), ch. 4 (b)

A Walsham, The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland (2011), ch 1 (a)