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 burial dilemma

    Article

    The recent attacks on Karl Marx’s grave in Highgate Cemetery have added impetus to the public debate about how we memorialise the dead and the public and private costs of mourning.

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  • A European dimension to local history

    Article

    Trevor James raises the prospect of broadening our approaches to local history to take a wider European perspective. When Professor W. G. Hoskins published his The Making of the English Landscape in 1955, he taught us how to observe and understand the topography of our landscapes, urban and rural, and...

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  • Civil Rights: 1968 and Northern Ireland

    Article

    Jim McBride looks at the growing demand for equal civil rights for the Catholic population of Northern Ireland through the 1960s, which led to the resignation of Terence O’Neill in 1969.

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  • St Theobald of Provins and evidence of charcoal-burning

    Article

    Trevor James has been researching the ‘saintly landscape’ for over 40 years. Here is a glimpse of what he has identified.

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  • The Venerable Bede: recent research

    Article

    The eighth-century monk is renowned as the ‘Father of English History’, but recent scholarship has demonstrated how important he was as a scientist and theologian and how his writings on the Bible can illuminate his famous history.

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  • Anglo-Saxon women and power

    Article

    Elite Anglo-Saxon women played a powerful role in the religious affairs and politics of their day and were important patrons of learning and culture.

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  • Out and About in Ryedale

    Article

    Tom Pickles explores Ryedale in Yorkshire, where an extraordinary network of churches bears witness to the social, political, and religious transformations of the Anglo-Saxon period.

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  • The Borgia: from fact to fiction

    Article

    For their meeting in September 2017 the Bolton Branch requested a talk on Renaissance Italy. What they heard dealt with the Italian portion of the Borgia family, led by Pope Alexander VI, though the topicality of Catalan nationalism meant that the principal figures were introduced with comment on the Italian,...

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  • The end of the Roman Empire

    Article

    Guy de la Bédoyère considers whether the Roman Empire ever really fell or simply went through endless processes of change that makes it an integral presence in our lives today. The fall of the Roman Empire is like the end of the dinosaurs. It’s one of the vast dramatic crisis moments we love...

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  • The Aztec Empire: a surprise ending?

    Article

    Matthew Restall explores current ideas about the end of the Aztec Empire. For an empire that existed half a millennium ago in a hemisphere far away, we have a remarkably clear sense of what brought the Aztecs down. Or at least, we think we do. Our general assumption is that the very nature of...

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  • Religion and Politics 1559-1642

    Article

    It is a truism to say that religion and politics were inextricably mixed in the seventeenth century. "So natural" wrote Richard Hooker,"is the union of religion with Justice, that we may boldly deem there is neither where both are not" Sir John Eliot observed that in the House of Commons...

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  • The First Crusade

    Article

    Nine centuries after enthusiasm for pope Urban's expedition to Jerusalem swept western Europe the phenomenon of the first crusade continues to fascinate. This pamphlet examines the nature of the crusades and the motives of those who joined it, describes the hardships of the long journey to the Holy Land and...

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  • Puritan attitudes towards plays and pleasure in the Age of Shakespeare

    Article

    Presidential Lecture - Annual Conference 2014 - Podcast'No more cakes and ale': Puritan attitudes towards plays and pleasure in the Age of ShakespeareJackie Eales - President of the HA and Professor of Early Modern History at Canterbury Christ Church UniversityIn Twelfth Night Shakespeare gently mocked the Puritans, who objected to...

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  • The Investiture Disputes

    Article

    Historical labels are dictated by a wayward fashion; and the name which is still most commonly associated with the first struggle of Empire and Papacy (1076-1122). "The Investiture Disputes," is neither lucid or appropriate. It has been commoner for historians to name the great wars of history after the issues...

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  • Regional Aspects of the Scottish Reformation

    Article

    Reformation PerspectiveIn recent years studies of the Scottish Reformation have undergone a marked change. Religion is seldom advanced as the sole mainspring of the events of 1560 and explanations have been increasingly sought in political and economic terms. On the political side growing opposition to French influence within Scotland was...

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  • Women and the Politics of the Parish in England

    Article

    Petticoat Politicians: Women and the Politics of the Parish in EnglandThe history of women voting in Britain is familiar to many. 2013 marked the centenary of the zenith of the militant female suffrage movement, culminating in the tragic death of Emily Wilding Davison, crushed by the King's horse at the...

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  • Cathars and Castles in Medieval France

    Article

    Almost exactly 800 years ago, in September 1213, a decisive battle was fought at Muret, about ten miles south-west of Toulouse. King Peter II of Aragon, fighting with southern allies from Toulouse and elsewhere, faced an army largely made up of northern French crusaders who had invaded the region at the...

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  • Papal Election and Murder

    Article

    Before the smoke clears: The longest papal election in history was marred by a brutal murderPapal elections never used to be so short or easy. In 1268 Pope Clement IV died and the cardinals, divided between French and Italian factions, would be deadlocked for the next three years over his...

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  • The Byzantine Empire on the Eve of the Crusades

    Article

    It is not strange that there should in recent years have been a notable revival of interest in the Crusades. The origins of the Crusading movement in the west during the latter part of the eleventh century have long been studied, and traced to the operation of social and spiritual...

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  • Prehistoric Scotland

    Article

    Prehistory is an attempt to reconstruct the story of human societies inhabiting a given region before the full historical record opens there. Its data, furnished by archaeology, are the constructions members of such societies erected and the durable objects they made. The events which should form its subject matter naturally...

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