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Chaucer and Religion.

Chaucer and Religion, ed. Helen Phillips, Christianity and Culture: Issues in Teaching and Research (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer; Rochester, NY: Boydell and Brewer, 2010). xx + 216 pp. ISBN 978-1-8438-4229-3. 55.00 [pounds sterling]/105.00 [pounds sterling]. This collection of essays by a group of distinguished scholars probes contexts for and critical approaches to the subject of Chaucer and religion, treating questions of belief, piety, dissent, didacticism, and scepticism, and spanning practices, traditions, and texts, as well as issues related to teaching Chaucer in the twenty-first century. Helen Cooper's introduction offers an elegant overview of the subject. Graham D. Caie considers access of the common wele to the Bible; Frances M. McCormack probes Wycliffite influence and Chaucer's possible allusions and sympathies; Carl Phelpstead explores the Artes moriendi tradition. Alcuin Blamires discusses sex and marriage in relation to canon law and theology; Helen Phillips considers the balance between emotion and religious teachings in Chaucer's romances. Stephen Knight turns to relations between clerics and churls in the fabliaux. Laurel Broughton examines Chaucer's treatment of the saints, especially Mary and Thomas Becket, with a particular focus on imagery, while Sherry Reames offers the context of late medieval piety for Chaucer's religious poetry. Anthony Bale provides a counterpoint to literary conventions in his study of Jewish presence in England and Italy, and of trade with the Saracens. Dee Dyas places the Canterbury pilgrimage in the contexts of medieval practices and multiple Christian communities. Essays by Stephen Knight and Helen Phillips discuss the relation between secular and spiritual in Chaucer's dream poems and lyrics. The last four essays focus on teaching Chaucer, offering case studies. David Raybin focuses on literary comparison and issues of ethics; Roger Dalrymple exemplifies enquiry-based teaching that places Chaucer within a wider Middle English context; and Gillian Rudd and Thomas Hanks discuss teaching experiences and modern methods for conveying Chaucer's religious contexts.

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Title Annotation:SHORTER NOTICES
Publication:Medium Aevum
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 22, 2011
Previous Article:In Strange Countries: Middle English Literature and its Afterlife. Essays in Memory of J.J. Anderson.
Next Article:Chaucer's Monk's Tale and Nun's Priest's Tale: An Annotated Bibliography, 1900-2000.

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