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The German city of Mainz under Archbishop Willigis (975–1011) witnessed a major flourishing of the arts, particularly in the field of architecture. During this period, a benedictional, now in St Gall, was also commissioned. Its only figurative content is an image of Christ in Majesty on its first folio. Taken as a case study, analysis of this permits an approach to the barely-explored concept of performativity in early medieval illuminated manuscripts. This Maiestas Domini, the list of blessings contained in the book and contemporary depictions of religious ceremonies invites consideration of the joint role that image and manuscript played in the dynamic liturgical rites during which the benedictional was handled.
In the late twelfth century, Bartholomew, bishop of Exeter (1161–84), identified astrology as the most serious heresy facing the English Church. The evidence of Bartholomew's writing suggests that astrology became more widely accepted among the English clergy during his episcopal tenure. It also supports the view that popular heretical movements enjoyed little success in England during this period, in contrast to some regions in mainland Europe. Instead, it was scholars deemed guilty of intellectual error, and above all the astrologers, who became the focus of Bartholomew's anxieties about heresy and the intellectual culture of his day.
This article assesses how Lutheran and other Reformation doctrines spread and were countered in the Portuguese seaborne empire. Portugal's inquisitorial and episcopal repression of ‘Lutherans’ was extended to Brazil and Asia, where it was supported by the Society of Jesus. The Portuguese empire's transcontinental connections favoured the emergence of interconnected histories, facilitating the circulation of books, engravings and beliefs and thus provided non-Portuguese people with links to the reformed world that spread amongst and disturbed the Portuguese living in India and Portuguese America. By opening up routes the Portuguese, paradoxically, functioned as vectors for other ways of interpreting Christianity.
This essay focuses upon particular elements of testimonies within the East African Revival in late colonial Uganda, giving analytical priority to the voice-hearing experiences of converts that often precipitated their conversion. While conversion within this movement aligns broadly with recent interest in discontinuity in Christian conversion, this essay highlights the roles of non-Christian spirits in fomenting radical religious change, including conversion to the East African Revival movement. It argues that the very experiences which occasioned these revivalists’ radical breaks with their past ways of life also established metaphysical continuity with them.