Elf Queens and Holy Friars : Fairy Beliefs and the Medieval Church

Elf Queens and Holy Friars : Fairy Beliefs and the Medieval Church

Description

In Elf Queens and Holy Friars Richard Firth Green investigates an important aspect of medieval culture that has been largely ignored by modern literary scholarship: the omnipresent belief in fairyland.

Taking as his starting point the assumption that the major cultural gulf in the Middle Ages was less between the wealthy and the poor than between the learned and the lay, Green explores the church's systematic demonization of fairies and infernalization of fairyland. He argues that when medieval preachers inveighed against the demons that they portrayed as threatening their flocks, they were in reality often waging war against fairy beliefs. The recognition that medieval demonology, and indeed pastoral theology, were packed with coded references to popular lore opens up a whole new avenue for the investigation of medieval vernacular culture.

Elf Queens and Holy Friars offers a detailed account of the church's attempts to suppress or redirect belief in such things as fairy lovers, changelings, and alternative versions of the afterlife. That the church took these fairy beliefs so seriously suggests that they were ideologically loaded, and this fact makes a huge difference in the way we read medieval romance, the literary genre that treats them most explicitly. The war on fairy beliefs increased in intensity toward the end of the Middle Ages, becoming finally a significant factor in the witch-hunting of the Renaissance.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 1594772622
ISBN 13: 9781594772627

18 Nov 2010
Joscelyn Godwin

ISBN 10: 0816619670
ISBN 13: 9780816619672

01 May 1991
Reimund Kvideland

ISBN 10: 1620551055
ISBN 13: 9781620551059

21 Jul 2013
Claude Lecouteux

ISBN 10: 0812252527
ISBN 13: 9780812252521

27 Nov 2020
Dyan Elliott

ISBN 10: 0812218086
ISBN 13: 9780812218084

25 Jun 2002
Monica H. Green

ISBN 10: 0140137440
ISBN 13: 9780140137446

25 Apr 2012
Sir Keith Thomas

ISBN 10: 1442601035
ISBN 13: 9781442601031

12 May 2010
Faith Wallis

ISBN 10: 1108435092
ISBN 13: 9781108435093

31 Dec 2019
Geraldine Heng

ISBN 10: 0008492794
ISBN 13: 9780008492793

28 Apr 2022
Douglas Murray

ISBN 10: 0008492492
ISBN 13: 9780008492496

28 Apr 2022
Douglas Murray

ISBN 10: 184344609X
ISBN 13: 9781843446095

01 Oct 2015
Sean Martin

ISBN 10: 0571200958
ISBN 13: 9780571200955

23 Aug 1999
Jonathan Sumption