Of Papistry and Prayer: Catholic Devotion in England, ca. 1600

Monta, Susannah Brietz
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The Southern African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (SASMARS)
The conference’s theme is intriguing to me as I’ve worked extensively on martyrdom – which certainly falls under the rubric of persecution. I’ll speak today about a subject that might fall loosely under “toleration'?, at least a practical sort. Specifically, I’ll raise questions about the status of Catholic devotion in Protestant England, for devotional writing both followed the confessional demarcations carved in paint and blood by early modern martyrologists and also crossed those demarcations with popular success. I’ll draw my remarks from research for an essay tentatively called ‘Uncommon Prayer? Catholic Domestic Devotion in Post-Reformation England’. I am usually rather title-challenged, but here I’ll take my feeble witticism seriously in order to ask whether early modern English Catholic devotional practices and texts were uncommon. That is, were they both unusual and comparatively private, outside the parameters of the Book of Common Prayer’s national and nationalizing liturgy, too narrow and too foreign to appeal to broad reading and publishing communities?
Middle Ages -- Periodicals. , Renaissance -- Periodicals. , Middle Ages. , Renaissance.