Michel Foucault famously described sodomy as an utterly confused category. The same could be said for marriage, especially during the Middle Ages, as the two studies under review demonstrate. Like sodomy, marriage is a category traversing several fields – law, culture, religion – that bites into people’s flesh.
Karen Overbey’s monograph is undoubtedly a welcome addition to the weighty collection of (predominantly antiquarian) archaeo- / art-historical studies focusing on medieval Irish relics and reliquaries, a healthy proportion of which is judiciously consolidated and summarised throughout the book.
This important work is long overdue. It identifies two gaps in the existing historiography.
Being the fruit of 20 years of research on the part of its authors, A Short History of Global Evangelicalism reflects an awareness of the need to see the contemporary upsurge in evangelical religion both in a worldwide comparative perspective and in a long-term historical one.
In Saints, Sacrilege and Sedition, Eamon Duffy has pulled together a collection of lectures and previously published essays from the last decade of his career into a single statement of Tudor religious culture.
David Nirenberg’s Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition is an impressive scholarly accomplishment that matches a dauntingly large subject matter with a vast vault of personal knowledge. At 474 pages and 13 chapters covering more than 3000 years, it is thorough without being exhaustive.
'There is no man or movement’, according to the late Emmet Larkin, ‘that can be intelligibly discussed apart from the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland’.
Silence speaks as a visual conceit through the serene icon of Mary Magdalene, chosen to illustrate the dust jacket enfolding Silence: A Christian History, foreshadowing themes in Diarmaid MacCulloch’s magisterial study.
Mary Stroll’s latest contribution to the history of the medieval papacy is a brave endeavour to illuminate the political factors the undergirded the successes and failures of the papal reform movement in the 11th century.
The clergymen who suffered during the 1640s and the 1650s for their loyalty to King Charles I have long awaited a full study. This is somewhat surprising, given that John Walker’s manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, which form the basis of Fiona McCall’s new study, have now for a century been easily accessible to scholars. A calendar by G. B. Tatham was published in 1911, and A. G.