Public non secular perform lay on the middle of civic society in past due medieval Europe. during this illuminating research, Andrew Brown attracts at the wealthy and formerly little-researched information of Bruges, one in every of medieval Europe's wealthiest and most crucial cities, to discover the position of faith and rite in city society. the writer situates the spiritual practices of voters - their funding within the liturgy, commemorative companies, guilds and charity - in the contexts of Bruges' hugely diverse society and of the alterations and crises town skilled. concentrating on the non secular processions and festivities backed via the municipal govt, the writer demanding situations a lot present pondering on, for instance, the character of 'civic religion'. Re-evaluating the ceremonial hyperlinks among Bruges and its rulers, he questions no matter if rulers may possibly dominate the city panorama via spiritual or ceremonial potential, and gives new perception into the interaction among ritual and tool of relevance all through medieval Europe
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Pp. 225–6. 67 See comments on ‘secularising’ effects of civic control of religion, in Chevalier, ‘Religion civique’, p. 349; G. Dickson, ‘The 115 Cults of Saints in Later Medieval and Renaissance Perugia:Â€ A Demographic Overview of a Civic Pantheon,’ in G. Dickson, Religious Enthusiasm in the Medieval West (Aldershot, 2000), pp. 6–25 (p. 19). It is perhaps a historiographical issue that is more dominant in some countries than in others. g. G. Rosser, ‘Urban Culture and the Church 1300–1540’, in D.
A further problem with applying ‘civil religion’ to late medieval society is really a problem with Durkheim. It leads to the assumption that religion should be regarded essentially as an expression of social concerns, or a means to deal with them. So it may be at times. The Reynoud Willems case might be one such example:Â€the Holy Blood procession does demonstrate a sense of civic unity and the authority of the Bruges magistrates. But to restrict interpretation of the procession to analysis of social or political agendas is to limit an understanding of the event and how it evolved.
How these mysterious effects are achieved is somewhat obscure. ‘Emotion’ is the agent most called upon to work the necessary alchemy. 95 But reference to emotional effects alone is an unsatisfactory explanation for the way rituals might work. 96 In the search to explain what rituals might say or do, historians have tended to turn to one of two models. One is Victor Turner’s adaption of van Gennep’s analysis of rites of passage. 98 But in the case of processions like the Holy Blood, however, the suspension of social hierarchies required in liminality never really happened.