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The Reformation of the LandscapeReligion, Identity, and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland$
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Alexandra Walsham

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243556

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243556.001.0001

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3 Britannia sancta: Catholicism, Counter‐Reformation, and the Landscape

3 Britannia sancta: Catholicism, Counter‐Reformation, and the Landscape

(p.153) 3 Britannia sancta: Catholicism, Counter‐Reformation, and the Landscape
The Reformation of the Landscape

Alexandra Walsham (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers how the landscape was implicated in Roman Catholicism’s struggle to resist the attempts of the Tudor and Stuart state to eradicate it. It describes how the Counter-Reformation on the Continent was accompanied by a spirited revival of pilgrimage and sacred places and shows how these developments found parallels in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Britain and Ireland despite the challenges of persecution and proscription. It also examines how British and Irish Catholics creatively appropriated the landscape as a site for worship and devotion after they were expelled from churches and how they revived holy sites attacked by Protestant iconoclasts and the historical narratives about the Christian past and the lives of the saints with which they were linked. A further theme is the emergence of a new geography of sacred locations associated with priests and laypeople who became martyrs to the Catholic faith.

Keywords:   Catholicism, Counter Reformation, pilgrimage, persecution, cult of saints, ecclesiastical history, martyrs and martyrdom

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