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Title: Furnishing Sir Christopher Wren's churches : Anglican identity in late-seventeenth century London
Author: Kirby, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 820X
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines what the liturgical furnishings of Sir Christopher Wren's churches can tell us about Anglican identity in late seventeenth-century London. It argues that the building of so many churches in a short timescale gave the Church of England a unique opportunity to express its identity in the particular context of its re-establishment after the Restoration. This study begins by looking at those involved in the furnishing process - within the parishes and among master-craftsmen - to establish their respective roles and influences. In particular it looks at how the emergence of a new genre of church furnishings in the classical style came about, and the intellectual culture which informed it. This thesis considers the mandate in the Canons Ecclesiastical that pulpits be "comely and decent" and demonstrates that this was a sophisticated philosophy which influenced how materials were selected and treated, and how wood-carving was applied to items according to the hierarchy of their spiritual status and liturgical purpose. The seventeenth-century Church was pre-occupied with proclaiming its virtues as the best of Churches, in response to popish and dissenting attacks. This thesis argues that the new church furnishings, and especially the reredoses, performed a key role in this polemical discourse. It considers how reredoses and screens were used to assert the Church's claim to spiritual descent from Biblical Israel and the Early Church through references to Solomon's Temple and early Christian worship - with divine worship of the purest times. It then looks at iconography which declared Anglican loyalty to the Stuart dynasty and episcopal governance. The thesis examines the furnishings of five churches which Wren himself designed, and considers what can be learned about his approach to design and whether any conclusions may be drawn about his own churchmanship.
Supervisor: Geraghty, Anthony Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available