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Synopsis

Challenging the assumption that medieval Catholicism was overly sensual, while Protestantism rejected any element of worship appealing to the eye, ear, or nose, this study asks fundamental questions about the relationship between religion and the senses. The book begins with an examination of pre-Reformation beliefs and practices, establishing intellectual views on the senses in fifteenth-century England. Having established the parameters for the role of sense before the Reformation, the second half of the book mirrors these concerns in the post-1520 world, looking at how, and to what degree, the relationship between religious practices and sensation changed as a result of the coming of Protestantism.

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