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Despite the paucity of written sources for fifth- and sixth-century Britain, there are many inscriptions containing brief texts in Latin or Irish. This paper reinterprets these inscribed stones, showing that, contrary to the universal current assumption that most represent the memorials of secular notables, a much stronger case can be made for understanding them as ecclesiastical monuments associated with the cult of saints. Read in this way, they offer new insights into the fifth- and sixth-century British Church and the evangelisation of the west and north of Britain during these centuries.
This study investigates the place of San Salvatore in the holy topography of Venetian Candia. By focusing on the largest convent in the Augustinian Province of the Holy Land, it contributes to a better understanding of a neglected subject in mendicant scholarship, namely the Augustinian friars’ expansion in the eastern Mediterranean. This article offers a detailed reconstruction of the demolished building and its sacred space, and sheds new light on interaction among the mixed Latin-Greek population in Venetian Crete by examining icons, altars, liturgy and, in particular, the introduction of the cult of Nicholas of Tolentino.
This article examines the unusual history and legal status of the Tor de’ Specchi community, founded by Francesca Romana (d. 1440) in Rome, in the face of shifting expectations for religious women in Counter-Reformation Catholicism. It is argued that Francesca Romana had sought to carve out a religious path for women distinct from that of nuns as brides of Christ (‘sponsae Christi’). The article demonstrates the community's difficulties in maintaining this way of life in the face of Pope Pius V's 1566 bull Circa Pastoralis, which extended the Council of Trent's 1563 decrees on enclosure (clausura) to all nuns of every order.
Augustine Baker, the seventeenth-century Benedictine monk, is primarily remembered as an advocate of mystical spiritual contemplation. This reputation was shaped by a contemporary supporter, whose synopsis of Baker's works is the source most commonly consulted by historians. However, by reading Baker's complete ‘Treatise of the English mission’ and recontextualising this manuscript, it is evident that he was addressing problems of his day. His treatise is a polemical response to debates about the implementation of the Catholic Reformation in England, advocating a vision of clerical formation and personal spiritual reformation for all those active in the English Catholic mission.
In 1653 Henry Dunster, Harvard's first President, refused to baptise his fourth child, initiating a controversy that would end in his resignation from the Harvard presidency in October 1654. This article offers an explanation for Dunster's rejection of infant baptism by re-examining the causes behind the spread of antipaedobaptism across 1640s England and New England, attributing special significance to the Anglophone reception of continental European covenant theology. Supporting this account, it presents an annotated edition of a previously unknown item in Dunster's correspondence, a letter sent to him by a concerned onlooker just months after his heterodoxy became public.
This article argues that as a part of the Tory reaction (1680–5) England's church courts were revived and utilised in the prosecution of religious dissent. The records of the church courts in three deaneries in and around London demonstrate that the numbers of prosecutions in the courts increased significantly in the early 1680s after the defeat of the Exclusion Bill and that the vast majority of these prosecutions were for religious offences. This brief flowering of persecution sought to ‘exclude the excluders’ and to remove political and religious dissidents from positions of secular power and from parish vestries.
Founded in 1800, edinoverie was a missionary mechanism that offered converts from ‘schismatic’ Old Belief the use of their anathematised rituals within the Russian Orthodox Church. However, the edinoverie clergy's distinctive social characteristics and working conditions stymied successful integration into the caste-like clerical estate. These representatives of an alternative form of Orthodoxy chiefly championed by Old Believers therefore remained on the periphery of the confession. This demonstrates the limits of intraconfessional diversity within the imperial Church: even when championed by ethnic Russians, the Church was reluctant to sponsor alternative visions of Orthodoxy in its own ranks.