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Grant number like: FA-54103-08

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Karen A. Winstead
Ohio State University (Columbus, OH 43210-1132)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2008 – 9/30/2009

Political Reform, Female Spirituality, and Changing Orthodoxy in Medieval English Saints' Legends

My book explores fifteenth-century English saints' lives and their impact on sixteenth-century piety, both Catholic and Protestant. Religion was a huge component of late-medieval and early-modern culture, and lives of the saints were one of the most popular literary forms. Moreover, religious literature commented on all sorts of secular issues, from how to raise a child to how to rule a kingdom. The vital and dynamic genre of the saint's life thus can tell us much about both "popular" and "high" culture during the turbulent fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. My book focuses on a selection of major themes that recur in saints' lives of the period, including family life, orthodoxy, women's religious experience, and intellectualism. It considers the roles of authors, compilers, and readers in determining the use and meaning of saints' lives, and it examines the debt that post-Reformation piety owes to late-medieval antecedents.