• Saints beyond borders: Relics and the English Catholic Community in the Southern Netherlands

    Author(s):
    Liesbeth Corens (see profile)
    Date:
    2014
    Group(s):
    Recusantsbaby, Religious Studies
    Subject(s):
    Catholicism, Church history, Early modern studies, European history, Immigration history
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    16th Century, 17th Century, early modern England, Exile, religious history
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6N684
    Abstract:
    This paper proposes a Catholic case study in a field dominated by studies on Protestant migrants. One of the main differences between the confessions was the institutional provision for the liturgical and devotional lives of laity abroad. Catholics did not found separate institutions similar to Protestant exile churches which channelled the sense of belonging and internal cohesion of Protestant migrants. However, institutional provision was not the only way of maintaining cohesion as a group. Informal bonds, and communal understanding played an equally important part in fostering and preserving group identity. This essay discusses how the English Catholic community abroad retained a sense of belonging while geographically and ecclesiologically within the Catholic Church on the Continent. It uses William Christian's 'local religion' as tool to explore the tensions and understandings between the particular and universal aspects of Catholicism. Did 'local religion' change shape, meaning, and importance in the context of an expatriate community? Was ‘local religion’ really 'localised', or could we look at a wide geographical framework? How did expatriates relate their devotional lives to their home country? Focusing veneration of English saints, this essay explores how this maintained, and gave a particular shape to the English Catholic community within the universal Church. It pieces together records from English families, religious foundations, and local authorities, preserved in Belgium, France, and England. Thereby, a community comes to light which was less visible than clearly defined Protestant exile churches, but which offers insights in the development of confessional mobility and early modern Catholicism.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    5 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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