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Title: The cultural and political significance of St George in England, 1509-1625
Author: Byrne, Alice
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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The cult of St George in England at the close of the fifteenth century was one of the most popular in the country. Throughout the medieval period, St George evolved from being seen as a martyr saint to an allegorical chivalric warrior who represented the victory of good over evil. Historians have argued that with the dawn of the reformation in England and on continental Europe, this cult largely abated in favour of more scriptural and less fantastical saints who were not reputed dragon-slayers. This paper seeks to re-evaluate this argument as St George has an intriguing story to tell in terms of the Church and its reformation in England and abroad. By exploring both the continuity and changes to devotional practices associated with St George and his legend, it is evident he was a malleable figure who reflected the complex set of belief systems that existed in sixteenth century England. On a more macro level it is possible to see through church paintings, church wardens’ accounts, inventories, portraiture, religious tracts, ‘secular’ literature and ballads that St George is integral to our understanding of the role that faith and the church played within sixteenth century English society. Furthermore, this paper focuses on the ways in which St George helped identify England as a distinct Protestant nation but also as a significant player as part of the wider Christian collective in Western Europe. Through examining and re-analysing the roles and representations of St George both at the English royal court and large sections of English society it is possible to gain a greater sense of understanding about individuals’ perceptions of their faith, the impact that the reformation had on the English and Roman Catholic church and to what extent alternations to doctrinal beliefs and practices were embraced.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BX Christian Denominations ; DA Great Britain