The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity, and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland

Paperback | June 7, 2012

byAlexandra Walsham

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The Reformation of the Landscape is a richly detailed and original study of the relationship between the landscape of Britain and Ireland and the tumultuous religious changes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It explores how the profound theological and liturgical transformationsthat marked the era between 1500 and 1750 both shaped, and were in turn shaped by, the places and spaces within the physical environment in which they occurred. Moving beyond churches, cathedrals, and monasteries, it investigates how the Protestant and Catholic Reformations affected perceptions and practices associated with trees, woods, springs, rocks, mountain peaks, prehistoric monuments, and other distinctive topographical features of the British Isles.Drawing on extensive research and embracing insights from a range of disciplines, Alexandra Walsham examines the origins, immediate consequences, and later repercussions of these movements of religious renewal, together with the complex but decisive modifications of belief and behaviour to whichthey gave rise. It demonstrates how ecclesiastical developments intersected with other intellectual and cultural trends, including the growth of antiquarianism and the spread of the artistic and architectural Renaissance, the emergence of empirical science and shifting fashions within the spheres of medicine andhealing. Set within a chronological framework that stretches backwards towards the early Middle Ages and forwards into the nineteenth century, the book assesses the critical part played by the landscape in forging confessional identities and in reconfiguring collective and social memory. Itilluminates the ways in which the visible world was understood and employed by the diverse religious communities that occupied the British Isles, and shows how it became a battleground in which bitter struggles about the significance of the Christian and pagan past were waged.

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The Reformation of the Landscape is a richly detailed and original study of the relationship between the landscape of Britain and Ireland and the tumultuous religious changes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It explores how the profound theological and liturgical transformationsthat marked the era between 1500 and 1750 both ...

Alexandra Walsham was educated at the Universities of Melbourne and Cambridge. After completing her doctorate, she held a research fellowship at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, prior to her appointment as Lecturer in History at the University of Exeter in 1996. Until recently she was Professor of Reformation History and Head of Departmen...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:656 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:June 7, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199654387

ISBN - 13:9780199654383

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Loca Sacra: Religion and the Landscape before the Reformation2. Idols in the Landscape: The Impact of Protestant Reform3. Britannia Sancta: Catholicism, Counter Reformation, and the Landscape4. The Religious Regeneration of the Landscape: Ritual, Rehabilitation, and Renewal5. God's Great Book in Folio: Providence, Science, and the Natural Environment6. Therapeutic Waters: Religion, Medicine, and the Landscape7. Invented Traditions: Legend, Custom, and MemoryConclusionBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Brings an extraordinary breadth and depth of erudition, high literary gifts, and remarkable intellectual ambition... Colourful, complex, subtle, sophisticated, argumentative, and wide-ranging, Walshams book forces us to look anew at many familiar themes, besides pointing towards a host ofunfamiliar places." --Wilfred Prest, Australian Book Review