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Victorian Reformation

The Fight Over Idolatry in the Church of England, 1840-1860

Victorian Reformation by Dominic Janes
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In early Victorian England there was intense interest in understanding the early Church as an inspiration for contemporary sanctity. This was manifested in a surge in archaeological inquiry and also in the construction of new churches using medieval models. Some Anglicans began to use a much more complicated form of ritual involving vestments, candles, and incense. This "Anglo-Catholic" movement was vehemently opposed by evangelicals and dissenters, who saw this as the vanguard of full-blown "popery." The disputed buildings, objects, and art works were regarded by one side as idolatrous and by the other as sacred and beautiful expressions of devotion. Dominic Janes seeks to understand the fierce passions that were unleashed by the contended practices and artifacts - passions that found expression in litigation, in rowdy demonstrations, and even in physical violence. During this period, Janes observes, the wider culture was preoccupied with the idea of pollution caused by improper sexuality. The Anglo-Catholics had formulated a spiritual ethic that linked goodness and beauty. Their opponents saw this visual worship as dangerously sensual. In effect, this sacred material culture was seen as a sexual fetish. The origins of this understanding, Janes shows, lay in radical circles, often in the context of the production of anti-Catholic pornography which titillated with the contemplation of images of licentious priests, nuns, and monks.
Oxford University Press; April 2009
250 pages; ISBN 9780199702831
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Title: Victorian Reformation
Author: Dominic Janes
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Visualizing same-sex desire - OUPblog (blog)
Tue, 10 Mar 2015 05:35:51 -0700
Visualizing same-sex desireOUPblog (blog)Dominic Janes is Senior Lecturer in History of Art and Culture at Birkbeck, University ...