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Law and Religion in Chaucer's England

by Professor Henry Ansgar Kelly

Part of the Variorum Collected Studies Series

Law and Religion in Chaucer's England Synopsis

These essays, in a second collection by Professor Kelly, investigate legal and religious subjects touching on the age and places in which Geoffrey Chaucer lived and wrote, especially as reflected in the more contemporary sections of the Canterbury Tales. Topics include the canon law of incest (consanguinity, affinity, spiritual kinship), the prosecution of sexual offences and regulation of prostitution (especially in the Stews of Southwark), legal opinions about wife-beating, and the laws of nature concerning gender distinction (focusing on Chaucer's Pardoner) and the technicalities of castration. Sacramental and devotional practices are discussed, especially dealing with confession and penitence and the Mass. Chaucer's Prioress serves as the starting point for a treatment of regulations of nuns in medieval England and also for the presence, real and virtual, of Jews and Saracens (Muslims and pagans) in England and conversion efforts of the time, as well as sympathetic or antipathetic attitudes towards non-Christians. Included is a case study on the legend of St Cecilia in Chaucer and elsewhere, and as patron of music; and a discussion of canonistic opinion on the licit limits of medicinal magic (in connection with the ministrations of John the Carpenter in the Miller's Tale).

Law and Religion in Chaucer's England Press Reviews

'A valuable collection of eleven influential and deeply learned essays published since 1991 by one of the most distinguished scholars of medieval English literature and culture.' Medium Aevum '... throughout the volume Kelly engages imaginatively, energetically, and rigorously with a variety of questions. For the work presented here, and for his broader contributions to scholarship on the English Middle Ages, we will remain in his debt.' Journal of Anglican and Episcopal History

Book Information

ISBN: 9781409407515
Publication date: 28th June 2010
Author: Professor Henry Ansgar Kelly
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Limited an imprint of Taylor & Francis Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 416 pages
Categories: Literary studies: classical, early & medieval, Legal history, History of religion,

About Professor Henry Ansgar Kelly

Henry Ansgar Kelly is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of English, University of California - Los Angeles, USA

More About Professor Henry Ansgar Kelly

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