Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 January 2021

The Presence of the Dead: Memory and Obligation Before the Reformation

The Presence of the Dead: Memory and Obligation Before the Reformation

(p.6) 1 The Presence of the Dead: Memory and Obligation Before the Reformation
Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England


Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the religious and cultural significance of the dead in later 15th and early 16th-century England. It explains the late medieval theology of purgatory, and its diffusion in popular religious literature, sermons, and other cultural media. It also explores ‘points of contact’ between living and the dead, including beliefs about revenants contingent on ‘bad deaths’ or appearing at the season of Halloween. The character and importance of late medieval funerals and post-mortem intercession (masses, obits) is assessed, and the strong imperative for people to be ‘remembered’. It is suggested that while there is little evidence for any ‘decline’ of belief in purgatory before the Reformation, the demands of intercession were placing considerable social and economic burdens on society.

Keywords:   death, theology, purgatory, sermons, revenants, Halloween, funerals, intercession, masses, obits

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .