Penitential bequests and parish regimes in late medieval England
Burgess, Clive and Kümin, Beat A.. (1993) Penitential bequests and parish regimes in late medieval England. The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 44 (4). pp. 610-630. ISSN 0022-0469Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022046900013518
The orthodoxy which dismissed the pre-Reformation parish as the point where the many failings of the Church met to blight ordinary lives has exercised a tenacious grip on the historical imagination. Current opinion, on the other hand, perceives the parish as deserving of inquiry, not least because of a dawning realisation that it was a point where managerial expertise and a noteworthy buoyancy of spirit intersected. Ostentatious programmes of church rebuilding and embellishment testify both to competence and to a vitality bordering on exuberance in many parish communities. If more difficult to appraise, the liturgical life of many parishes seems to have flourished and was enhanced by the steady accumulation of vessels, vestments, lights, embroidered cloths and painted images. Many wealthier parishes also supported numerous auxiliary clergy and a sophisticated musical repertory and performance. But building and liturgical elaboration were not products merely of whim. In addition to an obligation to support the incumbent by regular payment of tithe, responsibility for maintaining church fabric and the wherewithal for worship within the church had been assigned to the parish community by canon law in the thirteenth century. Many parishes conspicuously exceeded their brief. In matters of securing revenues it seem at the very least safe to assume widespred competence. Historians, however, have by and large failed to respond to the laity's achievement and that in spite of abundant surviving documentation. Investigation of the financial regime of the late medieval parish is long overdue. If it has received any attention at all, parish finance has been charaterised in very general terms of corporate levy and ad hoc donation.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Arts > History|
|Journal or Publication Title:||The Journal of Ecclesiastical History|
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Page Range:||pp. 610-630|
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