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England

(6,850 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] I. General – II. Non-Christian Religions – III. Christianity – IV. Religion, Society, and Culture in the Present I. General England is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It has an area of 130,412 km2 and a population of 48,903,400. London, the capital, is also the largest city in the kingdom (7,074,300 inhabitants), followed by Birmingham (1,017,500). England comprises eight geographical regions (The S…

Dorothea of Montau

(204 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (1347, Montau/Matowy near Danzig/Gdánsk – Jun 25, 1394, Marienwerder/Kwidzyn). Driven quite early by the desire for discipleship to Christ, this farmer's daughter nevertheless married in 1363. She subsequently led a life of intensive penitence and devotion shaped by love of poverty and the Eucharist, devotion to the passion and Mary, and bridal mysticism. She rec…

Ebner, Margareta

(165 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (c. 1291, Donauwörth – Jun 20, 1351, Maria Medingen). This patrician's daughter entered the Convent of Maria Medingen at a very early age. Constantly ill and isolated within the convent from 1312 on, she understood her illness as her path to God. Prayer, contemplation, and asceticism under the banner of an intense devotion to Christ (reflection on the Passion, the childhood of Jesus, etc.) led her to mystical experiences (visions, auditions, glossolalia). ¶ Henry of Nördlingen was important for her spiri…

Cromwell, Thomas

(235 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (1485?, Putney – Jul 28, 1540, London). Born into humble circumstances, after a turbulent youth Cromwell acquired enough legal knowledge (probably self-taught) to find employment as a solicitor. Around 1520 he came to work for Cardinal T. Wolsey; in 1523 he became a member of Parliament. After Wolsey's fall in 1529, he continued to pursue his own career. Made a member of the royal council by Henry VIII in 1531, he consolidated his position…

Cambridge University

(762 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] The founding of Cambridge University probably goes back to members of Oxford University who left Oxford in reaction to the closing of schools in 1209 that resulted from disputes between the city and the university. Although instruction resumed in Oxford in 1214, a few scholars remained in Cambridge. Proximity to the episcopal see of Ely favored the establishment of a permanent institution, and Cambridge and Oxford remained the only English univer…

Henry of Nördlingen

(180 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (d. after 1351), a diocesan priest from Danube-Ries, acquired significance as a pastor of pious women in convents and lay women and thus influenced the mysticism (III, 3) of women in the 14th century. Not an adept of mysticism himself, he introduced his protégés to mystical ideas, was the spiritual director and interpreter of their experiences, and brought them into contact with like-minded people (M. Ebner, C. Ebner, J. Tauler). From 1338 to 1349, his partisanship for the pope of…

Pecock, Reginald

(208 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (Peacock; Pavo; c. 1393, Wales – 1460/1461, Thorney Abbey, Cambridgeshire). After studying theology at Oxford (since 1409), Pecock served as a parish priest and later as a bishop (St. Asaph 1444, Chichester 1450). Despite several works against the ¶ Lollards, in 1457 he was charged with heresy; he was forced to recant, and several of his works were burned. After resigning his bishopric in 1459, he lived under house arrest in Thorney and was forbidden to write. Attacking the biblicism of the Lollards,…

Women

(11,554 words)

Author(s): Heller, Birgit | Bird, Phyllis A. | Wischmeyer, Oda | Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise | Albrecht, Ruth | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Traditionally research on religion has rarely dealt with women. Exceptions include Moriz Winternitz ( Die Frau in den indischen Religionen, 1915–1916) and F. Heiler ( Die Frau in den Religionen der Menschheit, 1977). In the 1970s, gender studies introduced a broad paradigm shift, which also affected religious studies. The principle that has guided this change from the traditional approach is that homo religiosus is not coincident with vir religiosus but equally has to include femina religiosa. The various questions can be assigned to th…

Colet, John

(244 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (1467 [?], London – Sep 16, 1519, London) was the son of an influential clothier, who studied at Cambridge (from 1481; M.A. 1488) and Oxford (from 1490; D.D. 1504). From 1492 to 1496, he travelled to Italy and France to pursue his studies; it is uncertain whether his preoccupation with Neoplatonism and Marsilio Ficino began during this period. In 1498, he was ordained to the priesthood, and he was made dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, London…

Elizabeth of Schönau

(202 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (c. 1129 – Jun 18, 1164), of noble descent, entered the double monastery at Schönau (Nassau; OSB) as a twelve-year-old. Five years later, she took her vows there. Elizabeth became magistra of the congregation of nuns in 1157. Plagued by illnesses and anxieties, Elizabeth received many “revelatory visions” (Ruh) in ecstatic episodes beginning in 1152; the visions followed the liturgical year. Her brother, Ekbert (monk at Schönau beginning i…

Wolsey, Thomas

(383 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (1472 [?], Ipswich – Nov 29, 1530, Leicester). After studying at New College, Oxford, ordination to the priesthood (1501), and a term as court chaplain to the archbishop of Canterbury, Wolsey, the son of an innkeeper and butcher, became chaplain to Henry VII in 1507. Under Henry’s successor, Henry VIII, his career in church and state began: appointed adviser to the king in 1511, in 1514 he was made bishop of Lincoln and later in the year archbishop of York. In 1515 he was made lor…

Magdalenes

(176 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] Since the 12th century, individual convents were founded under the patronage of Mary Magdalene to accommodate converted prostitutes and save women in jeopardy. The order of the Penitent Sisters of Blessed Mary Magdalene (Poenitentes Sorores Beatae Mariae Magdalenae) traces back to the initiative of the Hildesheim canon Rudolph of Worms, who founded convents for these penitents throughout the empire, beginning in 1226. Affirmed by Gregory IX in 1227 and subject after 1232 to the Ru…

Edinburgh

(314 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (Scots Gaelic: Dun Eideann), capital of Scotland. Situated near the Firth of Forth, Castle Rock had probably long served as a stronghold when King David I founded Holyrood Abbey there and granted Edinburgh market rights in 1130. Elevated to city status by Robert the Bruce in 1329, Edinburgh rose to become the political and economic center of Scotland and …

Warham, William

(173 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (c. 1456, Church Oakley, Hampshire – Aug 22, 1532, Hackington, near Canterbury). After studying at New College, Oxford (fellow 1475; LL.D. 1488), Warham had a successful legal career in the civil and ecclesiastical administration and as a diplomat: principal of the School for Civil Law, Oxford (1490), Master of the Rolls (1494), archdeacon of Huntingdon (1496), bishop of London (1502), Lord Chancellor (1504). Appointed archbishop of Canterbury in 1503, in 1509 he crowned Henry VII…

Cranmer, Thomas

(375 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (Jul 2, 1489, Aslockton, Nottinghamshire – Mar 21, 1556, Oxford), an English reformer who made a significant contribution to the formation of the via media of the Anglican Church. Stemming from the lower landed gentry, Cranmer studied from 1503 in Cambridge. After his M.A., he was elected in 1515 as a fellow in the Jesus College (consecrated to the priesthood c. 1520); he concluded his studies in 1526 as a D.D. (Doctor of Divinity). In these years, Cranmer was concerned…

Westminster

(469 words)

Author(s): Carter, Grayson | Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] I. Roman Catholic Archbishopric Following the Reformation in England, Roman Catholics labored under numerous constitutional and social disadvantages. Emancipation finally took place in 1829, despite considerable lingering anti-Catholic sentiment. Since the 1680s, four bishops, serving as vicars apostolic (Vicar apostolic), supervised Catholic interests in England; in 1840 four more were added. Various factors, most especially Irish immigration, the rise of the Oxford Movement, and the…

Jesuati

(159 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (later: Clerici apostolici S. Hieronymi), was a community founded around 1355 by Giovanni Colombini (died 1367) and his first associate, Francesco Vincenti. Initially, only laypersons lived together in poverty and penitence, with no fixed rule; they saw their vocation in praising God and in active love for their neighbor. The name derives from the exclamation in prayer, “O Gesù!” In 1367, the Jesuati obtained papal approbation and thereafter established monasteries in central and nort…

Thomas Becket, Saint

(320 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (Dec 21, 1120 [?], London – Dec 29, 1170, Canterbury). After studying in Paris, Thomas, the son of a merchant, was accepted into the household of Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury, who named him archdeacon of Canterbury in 1154. In 1155 Henry II appointed him as his chancellor. Thomas was ambitious and lived lavishly but was considered highly talented and incorruptible. As Henry’s confidant, he carried out the king’s policies even against the interests of the church. That changed …

Bilney, Thomas

(331 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (c. 1495, Norfolk – Aug 19, 1531, Norwich) studied both kinds of law in Cambridge. He was ordained as a priest in 1519 and became a fellow of Trinity Hall in 1520. Under the influence of the Latin translation of the New Testament by Erasmus, Bilney began to devote himself to biblical studies. 1 Tim 1:15 helped him to a new understanding of the Christian faith, which freed him from anxiety about his salvation, so that an encounter with Lutheran thinking must be assumed as a preparation for his conversion. In the following period Bilney preached against saint and image ¶ veneration…

Matthew of Paris

(183 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (Matthaeus Parisiensis; c. 1200 – June 1259, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England). In 1217, he entered the Benedictine Abbey of St. Albans, had contacts with the court of Henry III, and in 1248/1249 reformed the Norwegian monastery of Holm (OSB) on papal commission. As a chronicler, he continued the world chronicle of Roger of Wendover (died 1236) in his main work entitled Chronica maiora. He wrote several works on English history, including Historia Anglorum, and on the history of his own monastery, Gesta Abbatum. He authored lives of saints, including of Steph…
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