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The Medieval Legacy

| Discussion topics | Documents | Audio | Reading |

Discussion topics

  • In what ways did religion affect the lives of European people?
  • How was the Church in Western Europe organised, and what was the role and significance of the papacy?
  • 'The threat to the authority of the Church around 1500 came from too much lay piety, rather than too little'. Discuss.
  • How successful was Christian humanism as a reform movement?


**NOTE: Some eresources are accessible only on-campus or via off-campus proxies or the athens service**





Interactive DVD

The English Parish Church Through the Centuries, ed. Dee Dyas (Christianity and Culture, 2010), section 'Later Middle Ages': featuring relevant texts, images, audio and videos

Audio Links and video links

  • BBC Radio 4 'In Our Time' discussion on Erasmus
  • 'O pastor animarum' (plainchant) by Hildegard von Bingen (d. 1179)
  • Samples from a sung mass by John Taverner (d. 1545), performed by 'The Sixteen'
  • Samples of Tudor church music performed by the Tallis Scholars
  • You can also search for suitable versions of the following pieces e.g. on
    • John Browne, 'O Maria Salvatoris' (from the 15thC 'Eton Choir Book')
    • Guillaume Dufay, 'Vasilissa ergo gaude' (isorhythmic motet for 4 voices)
    • Stabat Mater, in mode 6 (Gregorian Chant)
    • Ave Verum (Gregorian Chant)
    • Nowel: 'Owt Of Your Slepe Aryse' (15th Century Carol)

Secondary Literature

Selected Key Texts

Further reading


Module Forum

Module Homepage



Glossary of Religious Terms

External Links