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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In medieval England, liturgy was a looming presence in so many aspects of English literary production. Yet many fundamental questions concerning the relationship between liturgy and vernacular literary production have remained unaddressed. This article explores the liturgical character of Middle English literature and how liturgy links the pre- and post-Conquest eras. In pursuing a liturgical history of early English writing, it outlines a detheologizing vision of liturgy and its objects. It also discusses the phenomenology of the modern theologized category of the “service book,” how previous theologizing habits of liturgical understanding have affected the Middle English religious lyric, and the writing and dissemination of the Book of Common Prayer.

Keywords: liturgy, Middle English literature, service book, religious lyric, Book of Common Prayer, England

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