Pub. Date:
Yale University Press
The Late Medieval English Church: Vitality and Vulnerability Before the Break with Rome

The Late Medieval English Church: Vitality and Vulnerability Before the Break with Rome

by G.W. BernardG.W. Bernard
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The later medieval English church is invariably viewed through the lens of the Reformation that transformed it. But in this bold and provocative book historian George Bernard examines it on its own terms, revealing a church with vibrant faith and great energy, but also with weaknesses that reforming bishops worked to overcome.

Bernard emphasizes royal control over the church. He examines the challenges facing bishops and clergy, and assesses the depth of lay knowledge and understanding of the teachings of the church, highlighting the practice of pilgrimage. He reconsiders anti-clerical sentiment and the extent and significance of heresy. He shows that the Reformation was not inevitable: the late medieval church was much too full of vitality. But Bernard also argues that alongside that vitality, and often closely linked to it, were vulnerabilities that made the break with Rome and the dissolution of the monasteries possible. The result is a thought-provoking study of a church and society in transformation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300197129
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 08/13/2013
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

George Bernard is professor of early modern history at the University of Southampton. He lives in Southampton, England.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi

Preface vii

1 The Hunne Affair 1

2 The Monarchical Church 17

3 Bishops 49

4 Clergy 68

5 Lay Knowledge 87

6 Lay Activity 117

i Confraternities and Chantries 118

ii Pilgrimage 125

7 Criticism 151

8 The Condition of the Monasteries 164

9 Heresy 206

Epilogue 236

Notes 238

Index 289

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