The World, the Flesh and the Devil: the Life and Opinions of Samuel Marsden in England and the Antipodes, 1765-1838 / Andrew Sharp
Samuel Marsden was a Yorkshireman of humble origins (as his detractors liked to point out). After a brief spell at Cambridge, in 1793 he was appointed the second official Anglican chaplain in the recently established convict colony of New South Wales. In 1814, he took the Gospel to New Zealand.
Covenanting Citizens: The Protestation Oath and Popular Political Culture in the English Revolution / John Walter
The subject of oath swearing has long been recognised in the historiography for its importance in interpreting loyalty in early modern England, especially in times of heightened religious and political tensions.
As Martin Heale states at the very beginning of The Abbots and Priors of Late Medieval and Reformation England, ‘the importance of the late medieval abbot needs no particular emphasis’. This was a group of men with responsibility for the spiritual and material wellbeing of thousands of monks and canons.
Dušan Zupka draws on the rich scholarship of medieval rituals and symbolic communication produced by medievalists working mainly on western European material, and endeavours to show that the same types of ritual communication existed in Árpád-age Hungary.
Bad Queen Bess? Libels, Secret Histories, and the Politics of Publicity in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I / Peter Lake
Every mode of writing history has its attendant dangers. The problem with so much conventional political and religious history is that it is an attempt to explain what actually happened. This seems sensible enough, of course, but it inevitably privileges the ways in which the successful historical actors valued their actions, as well as almost inevitably concentrating on an elite.
How Marriage Became One of the Sacraments: The Sacramental Theology of Marriage from its Medieval Origins to the Council of Trent / Philip L. Reynolds
I imagine that in recent years John Witte, the series editor of the Cambridge Studies in Law and Christianity, frequently crossed paths with the author of the monograph under review here. Both of them work as faculty at Emory University in Atlanta and are senior members of Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion, with Witte serving as its current director.
Voices of Conscience: Royal Confessors and Political Counsel in Seventeenth-Century Spain and France / Nicole Reinhardt
As suggested by its subtitle, Nicole Reinhardt's fine new book undertakes a double mission. On the one hand, this is a study of a specific practice and the men who participated in it.
In The Ethnographic State: France and the Invention of Moroccan Islam, Edmund Burke does the important work of historicizing colonial-era research on Morocco and Moroccans.
Naturalistic and atheistic worldviews have a long history in Western philosophy, but there was no identifiable culture of atheism within Europe until the 18th century. Prior to then, the number of genuine atheists in European countries was probably very small.
The medieval English parish was a fiendishly complex organism, whose intricacies become increasingly brain-frazzling as their microscopic analysis advances.