The church as sacred space in Middle English literature and culture puts us at the heart of medieval religious life, standing inside the church with the laity in order to ask what it meant to them and why.
Exploring a range of Middle English pastoral literature - including sermons, treatises, miracle narratives and a church foundation legend, alongside liturgy, architecture and material culture - the book examines the ways in which the sanctity of the church was constructed and maintained for the edification of the laity. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theoretical approaches, it offers a reading of the church as continually produced and negotiated by the rituals, performances and practices of its lay communities, who were constantly being asked to attend to its material form, visual decorations and significance.
The meaning of the church was a dominant question in late-medieval religious culture. This book provides an invaluable context for students and academics working on lay religious experience and canonical Middle English texts.