In this final post, Dr Karis Riley looks back on the project and its achievements.
In the project's final case study Dr Karis Riley explores the sometimes surprising role that laughter and comedy play in Foxe's Actes and Monuments, and suggests some avenues for further investigation into the way in which humour is exploited as a memorial technique.
In this case study Dr Matthew Rowley touches again on the fluidity of language and of the relationship between certain phrases of religious discourse and war. In 'From Witness to Warrior: Remembering the Red Sea in British Warfare, 1560–1660' he traced the transformation of a scriptural exhortation to patience and passivity into a justification for war; here, he examines the rapid change of a phrase with military origins into an evangelical commonplace.
In this case study Matthew Rowley reminds us of a pioneering but neglected protestant figure: the pamphleteer Argula von Grumbach. In 1523 the Theological Faculty at the University of Ingolstadt arrested a young scholar who had given a lecture on the letters of St Paul expressing heterodox views. Von Grumbach, a lay Bavarian noblewoman, wrote letters to the University and to the Duke of Bavaria in protest, the first of a series which were later published. This publication led to a career as a prolific Reformist pamphleteer.
In 2018 Alex Walsham published ‘Relics, Writing and Memory in the English Counter Reformation: Thomas Maxfield and his Afterlives’ in British Catholic History, vol. 34 (2018), pp. 1-29. This article traced the restless movements of the corporeal and contact relics of the Jacobean martyr Thomas Maxfield, who was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn on 1 July 1616, and explored what these journeys reveal about the migration and mutation of memory in the post-Reformation era.
In this piece, Alex Walsham takes a single object as a focus for two questions: How do objects help us to remember? And in what ways do they also, paradoxically, facilitate forgetting? From an eighteenth century earthenware dish decorated with the exhortation 'Remember Lot's Wife' Professor Walsham unfolds the implications for our understanding of how such objects become part of our memory practice.
According to the Geneva Bible (1560), during the Exodus Moses commanded the Israelites: 'Feare ye not. Stand stil, and beholde the salvation of the Lord, which he wil shewe to you this day. The Lord shal fight for you: Therefore holde you your peace.' Although literally an exhortation to patience and passivity, in the faith that God would act, in the century after the Geneva Bible's publication this passage from Exodus increasingly became associated with calls for political, not to say violent, action.
A recent acquisition by the British Museum prompts Dr Karis Riley to consider the role of sound in post-Reformation practices of remembering and forgetting.
In November last year Remembering the Reformation held a day-long workshop in collaboration with the Fitzwilliam Museum to explore the relationship between memory and objects. The day included handling sessions at the Fitzwilliam Museum, short papers by invited speakers, and intensive discussion. The workshop concluded with a public lecture by Prof. Andrew Morrall, of the Bard Graduate Centre. In this post Dr Karis Riley takes a look back at what was a very stimulating day.