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Publication News! Memory and the English Reformation

Posted on 14 November 2020

Congratulations to CREMS and Department of English and Related Literature academic, Brian Cummings, on the publication of his new book, which is co-edited with Alexandra Walsham (University of Cambridge), Bronwyn Wallace and Ceri Law (University of Cambridge).

The dramatic religious revolutions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries involved a battle over social memory. On one side, the Reformation repudiated key aspects of medieval commemorative culture; on the other, traditional religion claimed that Protestantism was a religion without memory. This volume shows how religious memory was sometimes attacked and extinguished, while at other times rehabilitated in a modified guise. It investigates how new modes of memorialisation were embodied in texts, material objects, images, physical buildings, rituals, and bodily gestures. Attentive to the roles played by denial, amnesia, and fabrication, it also considers the retrospective processes by which the English Reformation became identified as an historic event. Examining dissident as well as official versions of this story, this richly illustrated, interdisciplinary collection traces how memory of the religious revolution evolved in the two centuries following the Henrician schism, and how the Reformation embedded itself in the early modern cultural imagination.

  • Presents the Reformation as a complex arena within memory studies, involving ideas of construction, denial, repression, fiction and forgetting
  • Includes multidisciplinary accounts of the conflicts between Catholicism and Protestantism in Early Modern England
  • Offers new ways of understanding the cultural history of religion

For full details on the publication see the Cambridge University Press website.

The editors have also written a Cambridge University Press blog post to celebrate the publication. The publication arises out of the AHRC project Remembering the Reformation, which was co-hosted in York and Cambridge and ran from 2016 to 2019.