The devil gets into the belfry under the parson's skirts: vox populi and early modern religion

Colclough, Gillian (2010) The devil gets into the belfry under the parson's skirts: vox populi and early modern religion. In: From Augustine to Anglicanism: The Anglican Church in Australia and Beyond, 12-14 Feb 2010, Brisbane, Australia.

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Popular wisdom in the form of proverbs and adages is a feature of most societies. In European and American contexts, proverbs have been both respected and ridiculed as vox populi, the 'voice of the people'. However, from about the fifteenth to mid-eighteenth centuries, proverbs were viewed and employed at all social levels as containing simple truths because they emanated from the unspoiled peasantry. Consequently, as an oral cultural form transmitted upwards through society, proverbs can show socio-political or religious ideas and developments at many levels of everyday life, often cynically, sometimes with anger, and generally without the risk of litigation. Using Maurice Palmer Tilley's collection of sixteenth and seventeenth century English proverbs, this paper examines attitudes to the Church of England, the Catholic Church and the clergy. Bearing in mind the historiographical problems of potentially abstract oral sources recorded and often edited by external elites, the paper argues nonetheless that proverbs provide valuable insights into popular opinion, in this case, in the challenges and changes of Early Modern Christianity.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright, Contributors 2010 All rights reserved. Except as permitted under current legislation no part of this work may be photocopied, stored in a retrieval system, published, performed in public, adapted, broadcast, transmitted, recorded or reproduced in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the copyright owners.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2011 12:05
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:41
Uncontrolled Keywords: Church of England; clergy; early modern christianity
Fields of Research (2008): 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields > 220209 History of Ideas
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210305 British History
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200299 Cultural Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950299 Communication not elsewhere classified

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