Continental influence on religious pagaentry and plays in pre-Reformation Scotland

Connock, Gilbert R (1996) Continental influence on religious pagaentry and plays in pre-Reformation Scotland. MLitt(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The subject of this Thesis is Continental Influence on Scottish Religious Pageantry and Plays Before the Scottish Reformation. Chapter One shows that in the thirteenth century Scottish Cathedral Chapters adopted English constitutional models to govern their affairs and regulate their liturgical worship. The English models they followed are shown to have had their origin in Normandy, an area which ecclesiastically was integrated into the mainstream life of the Western Church owing allegiance to the Pope. In the parishes the liturgical books of the Sarura Rite, which were almost identical with those of Normandy, became the norm with the demise of the rites of the early Scottish Church. Thus the Scottish Church in the period that concerns us, in its life, worship and customs, came under the influence of continental models and patterns. This ultimately determined the form of Scottish non-1iturgical outdoor religious pageants and plays in the vernacular. Chapter Two examines the various channels or agencies through which continental influence entered Scotland, as for example, through Scottish trade with continental ports, especially with Bruges in the formative period, including the importation of church furnishings, a wide range of religious artefacts and illuminated service books, all of which were expressive of a common religious iconography. Besides which there were regular visits to the Continent by Ecclesiastics and Merchants, by men of rank, and sometimes by members of the 'lower orders' of society, who according to their state in life went to the Continent to attend Church Councils, religious festivals often held in connection with Trade Fairs, and to go on pilgrimage to the great continental shrines, and further afield to the Holy Land itself, with stops on the way. Besides such as these there were those who attended continental universities, in most cases eventually to return to their native land to serve their country in Church and State. Chapter Three explores the Scottish devotional literature of the period and shows that much of its content is ultimately dependent on the devotional writings of continental spiritual writers of the thirteenth century who were the common devotional mentors of the Western Church. It shows that the realism of the vernacular religious pageants and plays, especially those concerned with the Passion, was heavily dependent on the realism to be found in these writings. Chapter Four is concerned with the religious iconography of the Western Church as expressed in manuscripts, carvings in wood and stone, and in the decoration and ornamentation of churches. It shows that generally speaking there was a common iconography which expressed itself representationally in the same way irrespective of the medium employed. This same common tradition of iconography was also given expression in pageantry and plays, in costuming, in the staging of scenes and in artefacts, such that, for example, the Jewish High Priests at the Trial of Jesus are universally shown dressed as Bishops and referred to as Bishops. Chapter Five surveys the public pageantry and plays of the Continent, principally of the Low Countries, France, German speaking Countries and Italy. It is concerned for the most part with the fifteenth century and with those places on the Continent with which Scots had contact as shown in Chapter Two. Chapter Six studies religious representations in the Scottish Burghs as seen in surviving records. Chapter Seven explores the subject of the Saints in Scottish pageantry and plays. From a dramatic and religious point of view this is not of the same importance as the Nativity and Passion Cycles, but the subject has its own importance for our study in showing the heavy dependence of Scotland on the religious traditions of the Continent. Our final chapter, Chapter Eight, attempts to sum up what has been established in earlier chapters, and affirms that despite the great loss of records and the lack of play texts, it can be fairly said that all the indications are that Scottish religious pageantry and plays in the Pre-Reformation era were very much influenced by the established traditions of the Continent. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

Item Type: Thesis (MLitt(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Graham Barlow
Keywords: Theater history, Religion
Date of Award: 1996
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1996-71334
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 10:49

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