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CHAPTER 12 - ‘Landscapes of Faith and Politics in Early-Modern Norwich’

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2013

T. A. Heslop
Affiliation:
University of East Anglia
Elizabeth Mellings
Affiliation:
University of East Anglia
Margit Thøfner
Affiliation:
University of East Anglia
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Summary

INTRODUCTION

The cultural landscapes of religious belief and practice have emerged as a topic of central importance to any understanding of the process of Reformation and to the development of a Protestant civic culture in the towns of early-modern England. In some respects, this period witnessed a significant attack on the material and sensory setting of medieval religion, including the destruction of religious imagery and the re-organisation of church buildings, attacks on relics and icons and the abolition of many traditional religious practices such as processions, all of which had served to create space as ‘sacred’. However, recent scholarship has challenged the idea that this represented a process of ‘secularisation’. Rather, the process of destruction and rebuilding itself articulated new ideas concerning the nature of sacred space, which became a focus for ongoing religious and political conflicts throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Whilst Protestant reformers initially disputed the notion of any particular space being more ‘sacred’ than another, the architectural forms of places of worship and the religious practices and modes of behaviour appropriate to them remained a central concern of both ecclesiastical and secular authorities.

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Chapter
Information
Art, Faith and Place in East Anglia
From Prehistory to the Present
, pp. 179 - 193
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2012

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