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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Catholic recusants in performance

19th May 2016, 14:00 to 15:00, Chapel of the Nine Altars, Durham Cathedral, Gasper Jakovac

A free public talk to accompany the exhibition Plays, Processions and Parchment.

Apart from transforming doctrine and worship, the Reformation also influenced broader religious practices and attitudes towards traditional festivity. During Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, the celebrations of particular feast days and parish fund-raising entertainments, such as May games and Robin Hood plays, experienced decline and severe intolerance voiced by the Puritan-minded clergymen. Traditional festive customs were perceived as characteristic of the idolatrous late medieval religion. This paper will discuss some North-Eastern instances of Catholic participation in contentious customs and recreations and how they could have articulated identity and social reality of a persecuted minority. When Catholic recusants performed as players, dancers, or musicians, their entertainments could have easily been perceived by the authorities as an attack on the established religion.

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We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Find out more on our Events page.


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