Late Medieval Religion and Its Critics 
Late Medieval Religion and Its Critics
by Yale / Keith Wrightson
Video Lecture 7 of 25
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Date Added: June 15, 2011

Lecture Description

In this lecture Professor Wrightson surveys the religious landscape of England during the later medieval period through to the reign of Henry VIII and the beginnings of the reformation. He notes that while the late medieval church was more vibrant and popular than many early triumphal analysis of the reformation allowed for, there were, nonetheless, critics of Catholicism within England. He traces the earlier opposition to the church as arising from three primary groups: those educated clerics and laymen who desired reform within the church, the small pockets of Lollards within England who opposed traditional religion, and the group of people influenced by European reformation thought who would later work to implement doctrinal change within the Church of England. Professor Wrightson also provides an analysis of late medieval piety and the role that the traditional church played in people's daily lives at the local level prior to the reformation.

Reading assignment:
Haigh, English Reformations, prologue and chapters 1-3

Course Index

Course Description

This course is intended to provide an up-to-date introduction to the development of English society between the late fifteenth and the early eighteenth centuries. Particular issues addressed in the lectures will include: the changing social structure; households; local communities; gender roles; economic development; urbanization; religious change from the Reformation to the Act of Toleration; the Tudor and Stuart monarchies; rebellion, popular protest and civil war; witchcraft; education, literacy and print culture; crime and the law; poverty and social welfare; the changing structures and dynamics of political participation and the emergence of parliamentary government.

Course Structure:
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009.

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