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Title: The cult of St Thomas Cantilupe and the politics of remembrance
Author: Fleming, Andrew
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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The thesis aims to answer the following question: how did the relationships people had with Thomas Cantilupe, Bishop of Hereford between 1275 and 1282, shape the nature of his posthumous cult? The thesis rejects the idea that the veneration of saints in medieval England was politically neutral, or that their cults represented a stable, uncontentious means of resolving social discord. Instead, it posits that the invocation and memorialisation of Cantilupe was an intrinsically political act, and one that was available to ordinary people; these memories were formulated through their personal experiences of life in thirteenth century Hereford, and the people and institutions that populated it. These arguments are primarily based on evidence drawn from Cantilupe’s canonisation proceedings, particularly records and testimonies of his purported miracles. The first chapter discusses the historiography of saints’ cults in medieval Europe, and how their social function has typically been characterised, and outlines the principal sources for the thesis and how they will be used. The second chapter of this thesis takes the form of a brief biography of Cantilupe’s life and career, with a particular focus on how his actions might have affected the ways different people perceived him after his death. The third chapter enumerates the principal institutions and individuals that exercised power alongside Cantilupe in the diocese, and situates miracle recipients for whom we otherwise have little evidence within these contexts. Chapter four deals with the perspectives generated by Cantilupe’s interactions with the other lay and ecclesiastical authorities that constituted the structures of power in the diocese. Chapter five concerns the attitudes generated through direct experience of Cantilupe himself, or the way in which these attitudes were mediated by someone who did know him personally. Evidence that helps us to establish how ideas about Cantilupe were memorialised is discussed in chapter six.
Supervisor: Forrest, Ian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of Britain and Europe ; History ; Medieval History ; Hereford ; St Thomas Cantilupe ; Sainthood ; Miracles