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Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England$
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Peter Marshall

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207733

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207733.001.0001

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Remembering the Dead: Commemoration and Memory in Protestant Culture

Remembering the Dead: Commemoration and Memory in Protestant Culture

(p.265) 7 Remembering the Dead: Commemoration and Memory in Protestant Culture
Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England


Oxford University Press

Disputing the contention that the Reformation led to a loss of interest in memorialising the dead, this chapter analyses the rich and varied commemorative culture of post-Reformation England. It explores the concept of ‘duties’ towards the dead, including the imperative not to speak ill of them. The changing meanings of the concept of ‘memory’ are addressed, and new, as well as continuing, patterns of memorialisation are traced through tomb construction, epitaphs, printed funeral sermons, and forms of charitable giving. The ways that the memory of the dead mediated social status and hierarchy among the living are explored, and the chapter argues against the notion that either ‘secularization’ or ‘individualism’ are the keynotes of post-Reformation society's conceptualization of its dead.

Keywords:   Reformation, memory, epitaphs, funerals, sermons, charitable giving, social status, hierarchy

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