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Religions 2018, 9(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9030067

“To Sey or Thinke Otherwise”: Ordinary Theology and Facing Death in Late Medieval Norfolk

History Department, Fordham University, Bronx, NY 10458, USA
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract

This article explores how Jeff Astley’s work on ordinary theology can enrich historical study of late medieval lay religion. Ordinary theology provides scholars with a new set of vocabulary and methodological approaches for accessing the religious discourses of “everyday” Christians and allows medievalists in particular to reach beyond contested labels for lay belief. The article begins with a discussion of the promises and limitations of Astley’s theories for historians of religion and concludes with a test case of how they might guide future research, through a quantitative and qualitative analysis of 152 wills from fifteenth-century Norfolk. The results highlight the diversity of beliefs about the afterlife and associated doctrines among medieval laypeople even as they demonstrated commitment to orthodox Christianity and their local parishes. View Full-Text
Keywords: theology; piety; popular religion; ordinary theology; medieval history; wills; England theology; piety; popular religion; ordinary theology; medieval history; wills; England
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Foroughi, L. “To Sey or Thinke Otherwise”: Ordinary Theology and Facing Death in Late Medieval Norfolk. Religions 2018, 9, 67.

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