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Title: Heterodox and orthodox piety in Tenterden, c.1420-c.1540
Author: Lutton, Robert G. A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3614 205X
Awarding Body: University of Kent at Canterbury
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis investigates the nature of orthodox and heterodox piety in Tenterden, in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, by using testamentary materials together with a range of other sources. Recognising the limitations of past approaches, it offers a more adequate theory and method for using wills to reconstruct late medieval piety. From this basis, it argues that piety was diverse, subject to religiously significant changes, materially and socially based, and transmitted essentially within families. Chapter one reassesses theories and methods currently or revently employed in the reconstruction of religious beleif and practice, particularly in relation to testamentary analysis. It also argues that the family is the most appropriate unit of analysis for this work, and that current thinking on the nature of collective and individual piety is inadequate. Microscopic reconstruction of the testamentary practices of one family over three generations, in chapter two, demonstrates the familial continuity of piety. Chapter three reveals that local environment, material culture and identity, had a profound effect upon belief, and created heterogeneity within parochial piety. Religious belief and practice, is show in chapter four, to have been significantly different in Tenterden, compared to other places. Within the parish, traditions of testamentary piety varied markedly, between religiously generous and parsimonious families. Chapter five argues that parsimony in testamentary piety and a reformist tenor to religious devotion, were linked to social mobility, the generation of wealth and the creation of urban identities. Finally, in chapter six, the strong tradition of Lollardy in the Tenterden area is examined against orthodox belief and practice. It concludes that heterodoxy and orthodoxy were different and distinct. Nevertheless, the appeal of heresy, frugal and restricted practices with orthodoxy, and shifts in religious devotion, are argued to have all been aspects of a mentality which anticipated religious reform.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: BL Religion ; D History (General)