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The Place of the Dead

The Place of the Dead
Death and Remembrance in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe


Bruce Gordon, Peter Marshall, Samuel K. Cohn Jr, Clive Burgess, Nancy Caciola, Penny Roberts, Andrew Spicer, Vanessa Harding, J. S. W. Helt, Graeme Murdock, Larissa Juliet Taylor, James M. Boyden, Will Coster, Philip M. Soergel
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  • Date Published: February 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521645188

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About the Authors
  • This volume of essays provides a comprehensive treatment of a very significant component of the societies of late medieval and early modern Europe: the dead. It argues that to contemporaries the 'placing' of the dead, in physical, spiritual and social terms, was a vitally important exercise, and one which often involved conflict and complex negotiation. The contributions range widely geographically, from Scotland to Transylvania, and address a spectrum of themes: attitudes towards the corpse, patterns of burial, forms of commemoration, the treatment of dead infants, the nature of the afterlife and ghosts. Individually the essays help to illuminate several current historiographical concerns: the significance of the Black Death, the impact of the protestant and catholic Reformations, and interactions between 'elite' and 'popular' culture. Collectively, by exploring the social and cultural meanings of attitudes towards the dead, they provide insight into the way these past societies understood themselves.

    • A comprehensive treatment of the subject of 'placing' the dead - an original and exciting field of study in European cultural and religious history
    • Contains original case-studies by a team of leading scholars who write across a broad spectrum of thematic and geographical material
    • A general editorial introduction places the individual case-studies in context
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'These are microstudies of a very high standard, with thorough bibliographies, which provide a refreshing examination of topics that are important for the history of theology.' Expository Times

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2000
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521645188
    • length: 340 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.545kg
    • contains: 15 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Notes on contributors
    1. Introduction: placing the dead in late medieval and early modern Europe Bruce Gordon and Peter Marshall
    2. The place of the dead in Flanders and Tuscany: towards a comparative history of the Black Death Samuel K. Cohn Jr
    3. 'Longing to be prayed for': death and commemoration in an English parish in the later Middle Ages Clive Burgess
    4. Spirits seeking bodies: death, posession and communal memory in the Middle Ages Nancy Caciola
    5. Malevolent ghosts and ministering angels: apparitions and pastoral care in the Swiss Reformation Bruce Gordon
    6. 'The map of God's word': geographies of the afterlife in Tudor and early Stuart England Peter Marshall
    7. Contesting sacred space: burial disputes in sixteenth-century France Penny Roberts
    8. 'Defyle not Christ's kirk with your carrion': burial and the development of burial aisles in post-Reformation Scotland Andrew Spicer
    9. Whose body? A study of attitudes towards the dead body in early modern Paris Vanessa Harding
    10. Women, memory and will-making in Elizabethan England J. S. W. Helt
    11. Death, prophecy and judgement in Transylvania Graeme Murdock
    12. Funeral sermons and orations as religious propaganda in sixteenth-century France Larissa Juliet Taylor
    13. The worst death becomes a good death: the passion of Don Rodrigo Calderón James M. Boyden
    14. Tokens of innocence: infant baptism, death and burial in early modern England Will Coster
    15. The afterlives of monstrous infants in Reformation Germany Philip M. Soergel

  • Editors

    Bruce Gordon, University of St Andrews, Scotland

    Peter Marshall, University of Warwick


    Bruce Gordon, Peter Marshall, Samuel K. Cohn Jr, Clive Burgess, Nancy Caciola, Penny Roberts, Andrew Spicer, Vanessa Harding, J. S. W. Helt, Graeme Murdock, Larissa Juliet Taylor, James M. Boyden, Will Coster, Philip M. Soergel

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