Religion

In this section religions, religious belief and many elements of religiosity are explored and discussed. Early pagan beliefs in Britain and Ireland to the worship of gods across Europe are explored as are the religious changes that monotheism introduced. How religion affects themes of power, individuality and architecture are debated as are key historical movements such as the Reformation and the crusades.

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  • The Miraculous Crusade: The Role of the Mystical and Miraculous in the Morale and Motivation of the First Crusade

    Article

    The First Crusade may be considered the only really successful crusade in that it achieved its stated goal, but it demanded great courage and stamina of its participants in their journey to the Holy City of Jerusalem, fighting their way through an unforgiving hostile territory. But courage and stamina by...

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  • Varieties of Reformation

    Article

    The most significant change to have occurred in our view of the Reformation in recent years is the growing acknowledgement of historians that it was no unitary phenomenon whose triumph was assured and inevitable. What we refer to in short-hand as ‘the' Reformation was a many-sided affair which began with...

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  • The Establishment of English Protestantism 1558-1608

    Article

    The Reformation which Queen Elizabeth and her ministers created was a series of acts of state, but if we consider it only at the level of official hopes and pronouncements, we will paint a picture of hopeless unreality. For the Reformation to success, the government needed to follow up its...

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  • The Albigensian Crusade

    Article

    At the time of the First Crusade southern France was strongly Catholic: the army led by Raymond IV of Toulouse was the largest single force to take part in the expedition and was recruited from all classes. Yet eighty years later the Count's grandson, Raymond V, sent this appeal form...

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  • Jacobitism

    Article

    In recent years, the debate over the nature, extent, and influence of the Jacobite movement during the 70 years following the Glorious Revolution of 1688 has become one of the new growth industries among professional historians, spawning scholarly quarrels almost as ferocious as those which characterised ‘the Cause' itself.The term...

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  • The Oxford Movement and Anglican Ritualism

    Article

    The English Reformation of the Sixteenth century had been a compromise, both politically and theologically. The administrative framework of the medieval church, with its system of church courts, private patronage, pluralism, the social and financial gulf between the lower and higher clergy, its inadequacy of clerical education and its hierarchical...

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  • Religion and Party in Late Stuart England

    Article

    The second English Revolution of the seventeenth century, the Revolution of 1688, ushered in during the next twenty-five years a series of changes which were to be profoundly important to the ultimate development of the country. Most conspicuously, the reigns of William III and Anne released Englishmen - though not...

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  • The French Wars of Religion

    Article

    This classic pamphlet takes you through the French reformation, the first, second and third war of religion, The St Bartholomew's Day massacre and the Fourth War, the later wars, the Catholic League, Henry IV, the nobility, the towns, confessional violence, social contexts and warfare and its costs.

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  • Christopher Hill: Marxism and Methodism

    Article

    Christopher Hill, the eminent historian of seventeenth century England, was a convinced Marxist throughout most of his long and productive life (1912-2003). He embraced this secular world-view when he was a young History student at Oxford in the polemical 1930s and never lost his ideological commitment, even though he resigned...

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  • Thomas Muir and the 'Scottish Martyrs' of the 1790s

    Article

    From the 1750s, after more than a century of intense political and religious disputes and of economic stagnation, Scotland began to enjoy several decades of almost unprecedented political stability, religious harmony, economic growth and cultural achievements. Jacobitism had been crushed and most propertied and influential Scots rallied to the Hanoverian...

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  • Beware the serpent of Rome

    Article

    On 14 February 1868, the Carlisle Journal reported as follows: … two meetings were held in the Athenaeum in this city , “for the purpose of forming an auxiliary to co-operate with the Church Association in London, to uphold the principles and order of the United Church of England and...

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  • John Wesley at 300

    Article

    The tercentenary of John Wesley’s birth has been celebrated not just in his native country, but round the world – as widely, in fact, as the Methodism associated with him has spread. Over the years, in addition to innumerable biographies there have been many studies of particular aspects of his...

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  • Protestantism and art in early modern England

    Article

    I am greatly honoured to receive the Medlicott medal and I thank the President for his much-too-kind remarks. It is fifty years since I attended my first meeting of the Historical Association and heard a lecture by Professor Medlicott himself, no less. The Association does a wonderful job in encouraging...

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  • Religion and Science in the Eighteenth Century

    Article

    Much has been said about the clash between religion and science in Victorian times but there has been less research into the relationship between them in the eighteenth century. This article considers three Georgian clergymen who were also notable scientists – the Reverend William Stukeley, the pioneer of scientific field...

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  • Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People

    Article

    Much research has been devoted in recent years to Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People (EH), completed in 731 at the joint monastery of Monkwearmouth- Jarrow; but in one crucial respect little progress has been made: the editing of the text. The excellent edition published by Charles Plummer in...

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  • The New History of the Spanish Inquisition

    Article

    Helen Rawlings reviews the recent literature which has prompted a fundamental reappraisal of the Spanish Inquisition. The Spanish Inquisition — first established in 1478 in Castile under Queen Isabella I and suppressed in 1834 by Queen Isabella II — has left its indelible mark on the whole course of Spain’s...

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