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date: 26 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the problems arising from the asymmetrical status of mysticism across the period between medieval and Renaissance. It begins with James Nayler’s mysticism before proceeding with a discussion of vernacular theology in relation to social and cultural change during the period between Lollardy and the English Civil War. It then considers the failure of mysticism in the context of historiography, the connections between religious literature produced across the period between Lollardy and the English Civil War, and how confessionalization gave rise to Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. It also examines the religious writings of Julian of Norwich and George Herbert before concluding with an assessment of religious reform in Western Europe during the period.

Keywords: mysticism, Renaissance, James Nayler, vernacular theology, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Julian of Norwich, George Herbert, religious reform, religious literature

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