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Venerated at Polesworth (Warws.) in the late Anglo-Saxon period, the identity of St Edith remains uncertain, with medieval chroniclers suggesting various candidates, but she is likely to have been a seventh-century Mercian princess, perhaps also connected with a church near Louth (Lincs.). Buried at Polesworth, where miracles were still being recorded in the thirteenth century, and perhaps with relics in the collegiate church at nearby Tamworth, her cult was very localised, with only a few outliers elsewhere in the Midlands, probably linked to the Marmion family, lords of Tamworth castle and the founders in the mid twelfth-century of a female religious house at Polesworth.
The article establishes that the role of the Rus Archbishop Peter at the First Council of Lyon (1245) was not limited to conveying sensational information about the Tatars, as is usually believed. Peter was willing to resume negotiations between the Apostolic See and the rulers of the Byzantine (Nicene) Empire on the union of Churches, which continued with varying success throughout the thirteenth century. In the mid-1240s the Rus church hierarchs, who headed the Kiev (all Rus) Metropolitanate of the Byzantine Church, played an important, yet underestimated by researchers, role in establishing direct contacts between the Byzantine and Roman Churches and resuming negotiations for church unity.
This essay examines the legal arguments in Wolf c. Abingdon, a tithes dispute from 1293–5 between the rector and the vicar of Aldington, Kent. The case records contain explicit citations to written law, a surprising find in a seemingly minor case. The presence of explicit citations in particular suggests first that the litigants had access to legal assistance in the provincial court, and second that advocates and possibly judges were turning to written legal sources to resolve disputed points. This essay shows how the litigants' arguments were constructed and determines whether or not these arguments were effective in court.
Cathedrals are usually thought to have had little role in the English Reformation and the reasons for their very survival in the new Church of England have been questioned. Instead of being an irrelevant and closed-off institution, Durham Cathedral was intellectually close to its Reformation-era bishop, the conservative Cuthbert Tunstall, and was involved in diocesan matters throughout his episcopate. Tunstall's evangelical successors also appreciated its potential for reform and the need to use its staff and resources. Cathedrals thus could be a tool to be used in the reformation of the diocese on both sides of the emerging confessional divide.
This essay addresses several unresolved problems associated with the production, dissemination and reception of the King James Bible. It argues that James i’s initial enthusiasm was not sustained and that Archbishop Bancroft was the key figure for seeing the translation through to completion. His death, just before the Bible appeared, explains why there was no order for its purchase by parishes. Instead, its acquisition was left to individual bishops, so that it took until the Civil War for the new Bible to be widely available in worship. Its broad acceptability by that time was a result of its increasing use in household and private devotions as much as in public worship.
This article looks at a common societal feature – the inheritance – examining how it became a prized source of income following the French Revolution and, therefore, a divisive element. The Restoration in the Papal States (1814–30) produced unexpected legal battles over the right of inheritances; family members as well as the monasteries of ex-religious, secularised during the Napoleonic period in Italy, contested the beneficiary status of wills. Such was the frequency and acrimony of the disputes that a special commission was created in 1827 to curb future debate. All told, these legal battles favoured ecclesiastical institutions over secular or family interests, and loosened the bonds between the Catholic Church and society during the Risorgimento.
This paper examines Joseph Edkins's failed attempt to correct the theology of Hong Xiuquan during his trip to Nanjing in March and April 1861. Through his debates with individual rebels and his written exchange with Hong, Edkins learned that the Taipings were unwilling to accept ‘orthodox’ teachings and scriptural interpretations that conflicted with their established belief system. Challenging exclusionary and pathologising discourses, the paper shows that Hong's response to Edkins's efforts was rooted not in his ‘irrational’ modes of thinking, but in his desire to preserve both his revelation-based worldview and the personal authority that it legitimised.
This article examines the historic discourse on public discipline around sexuality in the African context and its ascendancy, through missionary emphasis on Christian marriage, across multiple denominations and cultural locations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Foreign missionaries and African leaders struggled with abuses of discipline and were aware of the inequity of discipline globally. Public discipline was extremely uncommon at this time in North Atlantic contexts, but became a foundational aspect of African Christian life.