• Temple, sex, gender and society

      Graham, Elaine (SAGE Publications, 2022-07-04)
      This article gives an overview of the main economic, legal and cultural changes around the role of women, debates about gender identity and patterns of marriage and the family that have taken place over the past 80 years since Christianity and Social Order was first published.
    • The Independent Schools Religious Studies Association Report Religion and Worldviews (Weltanschauung) June 2022 - A Personal Response

      Dossett, Wendy; University of Chester (Reforming RE, 2022-07-02)
      A personal reponse to the 2022 ISRSA statement on the 2018 proposals of the Commission for Religious Education.
    • Postliberal positions in public theology

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (T&T Clark, 2022-06-30)
      In this chapter, I seek to show that, contrary to widespread caricatures as fideists eschewing publicly intelligible critical scrutiny, or sectarians advocating Christian disengagement from the public realm, postliberal theologians have a deep commitment to publicness in both these senses, which arises from their commitment to the irreducible particularity of Christian beliefs, practices and the stories which norm them. It is, I argue first, because of this commitment to Christian particularity and the orientation to the public it entails, that they are critical of attempts to establish the public status of Christian belief and practice on a putatively universalist foundation or general theory of human existence or religion. They pursue this critique in order to preserve the public character of Christian faith. Second, to different degrees, they seek to mobilise what they take to be core resources of Christian tradition, not least its central scriptural narratives, in order to frame, orient and exemplify constructive Christian engagement with public issues and events. Third, they have sought to find ways to articulate the modes and terms of critical public accountability for Christian beliefs and practices without lapsing back into the very modes of theological and ethical argument against which they protest. These tend to liken the public intelligibility of Christian meanings to those of the culture of a community, to combine realist, coherentist and pragmatic understandings to describe what it means to call Christianity ‘true’, which admit of a range of public ways of assessing Christian discourse without subordinating it to a distorting set of criteria.
    • Were Early Medieval Lists Bureaucratic? The Whitby Abbot's Book, Folios 1r-4v

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (StudienVerlag, 2022-05-19)
      Since the Enlightenment, early medieval lists have been removed from their original manuscript contexts and sometimes interpreted as artefacts of royal and ecclesiastical bureaucracy. Despite critical engagement with the idea of early medieval bureaucracy and recent emphasis on the material and literary characteristics of lists, the idea of bureaucratic origins remains. This paper focuses on the Whitby Abbot’s Book, folios 1r-4v, a perhaps incomplete quire written after 1176, comprising a book list, a story of refoundation with accompanying property lists, an abbatial oath, and a story of abbatial elections including a list of monks. It uses approaches to bureaucracy, administrative history, and memory to reflect on this case study and on cultures of listing.
    • Objects as Dynastic Agents: Burgundian Inventories of Philip the Bold and Margaret of Flanders

      Wilson, Katherine Anne; University of Chester (StudienVerlag, 2022-05-19)
      At the start of the fifteenth century, two dynastic inventories were compiled, prompted by the death of two key European rulers. The first came into being on the death of Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy in 1404, the second on the death of his wife Margaret of Flanders, less than a year later in 1405. These two dynastic inventories, preserve references to thousands of moveable objects, but still remain underexplored by historians. This article will reassess these inventories in light of the ‘material turn’ to reconstruct the political ‘theatres’ and ‘actors’ involved in their construction. In addition, it will examine the objects of the inventories to reveal the ways in which they operated as agents of dynastic power, maintaining and creating networks of social relations at a critical political moment for the Burgundian dynasty.
    • Moving 'out' to be 'in': the suburbanization of London Jewry, 1900-1939

      Ewence, Hannah; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2022-04-19)
      Between 1900 and 1939, Jewish Londoners departed the East End for the suburbs. Relocation, however, was not always the result of individual agency. Many Jews became the object of institutional strategies to coerce and persuade them to disperse away from inner-city areas. Simultaneous to this was the emergence of a dominant pro-suburban rhetoric within and beyond Jewish cultural circles, which aimed to raise aspirations towards middle-class lifestyles. This striking suburban ‘urge’ amongst London Jewry, managed by the community's elite institutions and leaders, was far more than a phenomenon running parallel to wider British society. As this article argues, it was a decisive response to an insidious culture of intolerance and antisemitism.
    • My Friend, the Queen, an historical novel, with an accompanying Critical Commentary, Historical Fiction in the 21st Century: its Purpose and Practice

      Rees, Emma; Wall, Alan; Jones, Sheila (University of Chester, 2022-04)
      1509. On the day of the Coronation of the new young King and his Spanish Queen, eight-year-old Kat Champernowne goes to live and work at Hever Castle. There she strikes up a friendship with the family’s middle child, Anne: it is a lifelong bond that will take her to France, to London, to the birth of a Princess, and to the execution of a Queen. My Friend, the Queen is a feminist novel in the historical literary fiction genre, which presents the story of Anne Boleyn from an original perspective. Its protagonist, Kat Champernowne, more familiarly known by her married name of Ashley, is a real person whose early life has not previously been voiced. Throughout the substantive part of my thesis - the novel - she narrates her own story, closely intertwined with that of Anne Boleyn, from their imagined first meeting at Hever to Anne’s beheading in 1536. My Critical Commentary begins by tracing the trajectory and evolution of historical fiction from 1971. Drawing on the experience of undertaking a practice-based PhD, I then examine the relationship between history and fiction, linking my analysis of historical fiction’s current purpose and practice to the research and methodologies I employ in synthesising ‘fact’ and ‘fiction’ into a cohesive whole. I incorporate both critical and theoretical issues, as well as drawing on the works and methodology of other novelists, to delineate the role and status of historical fiction in the twenty-first century from the viewpoints of both a practitioner and a theorist.
    • ‘Roots in the soil’: the evolution of a countryside youth service in Westmorland, 1939-c.1950

      Andrew, Rebecca; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2022-03-04)
      This article traces the evolution of the statutory Youth Service in rural Westmorland (now part of Cumbria), from its establishment in 1939 to the early post-war years. It focuses on how the county’s Youth Service innovated and developed new ways of working with young country people in their spare time, and the challenges of introducing urban-focused policy into rural practice. It argues that to be effective in work outside urban areas, the national Youth Service had to adapt to existing patterns of country life and leisure. Tensions between this external organising body and local communities are also considered. The article draws on official Youth Service records, including minute books, correspondence and annual reports, alongside local press accounts and oral history testimony. In doing so, it enhances our understanding of the professionalisation of informal education, and the leisure habits of rural youth, during and immediately after the Second World War.
    • ‘Coursing the Tinkerley Fox’: Tactics of Garrison Warfare in the West Midlands during 1643 and 1644

      Worton, Jonathan; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2022-02-08)
      A military defeat for the parliamentarians in south Staffordshire in March 1644 involved the capitulation of their outpost at Stourton Castle to Worcestershire royalists. The beaten parliamentary commander was Colonel John Fox, who in autumn 1643 had established a garrison near Birmingham at Edgbaston. This, like Stourton Castle in turn, was one of a number of strongholds in the West Midlands the opposing sides held as a strategy for territorial control. Indeed, much of the fighting of the English Civil War of 1642-6 involved clashes between local garrison-based forces, sometimes fought for the possession of rival strongpoints. In March 1644 Fox enabled the parliamentarian seizure of Stourton Castle for reasons that also impelled inter-garrison warfare elsewhere. The subsequent short campaign to besiege or relieve the castle is reconstructed here, as a case study of the tactics and conduct of the localised military action that shaped the course of the wider war.
    • Disruption and Disability Futures in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

      Tankard, Alex; University of Chester (Liverpool University Press, 2022-02-01)
      Marvel superhero movies celebrate the transformation of disabled people into weapons. First Avenger depicts a disabled man rebuilt by military technology into a patriotic superhero. In Winter Soldier, the Soviet cyborg’s brutal, non-consensual modification serves to emphasise Captain America’s wholesomely perfected body. At first glance, both films seem incapable of critiquing the historical ableism that made Captain America’s modification a desirable image of disability-free future in 1941 – let alone its modern manifestations. However, re-watching First Avenger after Winter Soldier reveals a far less stable endorsement of eliminating disability: now alerted to the series’ precise anxieties about bodily autonomy, one can perceive an undercurrent of disability critique running through First Avenger too – often literally in the background. The film exposes the historical ableism that shaped Steve’s consent to modification, and begins to establish his sidekick Bucky Barnes as a persistent critical voice capable of envisioning a different disability future. This essay is therefore not only about ableism in a pair of superhero movies, but also about how these ableist films contain seeds of an unexpected critique of their own disability representation.
    • Hereditary surname establishment in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds: a diachronic analysis

      Parkin, Harry; University of Chester (Paul Watkins/Shaun Tyas, 2022-01-01)
      A study of the local development of hereditary surnames in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds in the 14th century, looking at how it may differ from the apparent national patterns of hereditary surname adoption, and the implications for further surname research
    • ‘He didn’t really talk about it’: The (re)construction and transmission of a Free French past

      Millington, Christopher; Millington, Richard; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2021-12-21)
      A study of how the memories of a member of the Free French were (and were not) communicated to the rest of his family after the Second World War.
    • ‘‘Turning the Wheel of the Dharma’: A translation of Aśvaghoṣa’s Buddhacarita Canto 15 from a recently rediscovered Sanskrit manuscript

      Jones, Dhivan Thomas; University of Chester (Cardiff University Press, 2021-12-15)
      This article offers a first translation into English of the re-discovered Sanskrit text of Canto 15 of Aśvaghoṣa’s Buddhacarita. While Cantos 1–14 of Aśvaghoṣa’s kāvya, or long poem on the life of the Buddha, have survived in Sanskrit, it had been thought that Cantos 15–24 only survived in Tibetan and Chinese translations. But the Japanese scholar Kazunobu Matsuda, working with Jens-Üwe Hartmann, has recently identified the whole of Canto 15 embedded in a Sanskrit manuscript of the Tridaṇḍamālā, attributed to Aśvaghoṣa. While Matsuda has made a translation into Japanese, I offer a translation of the Sanskrit text of Buddhacarita Canto 15 into English. A distinctive feature of this translation is that I present a prose translation, conveying the Sanskrit syntax and vocabulary in an accurate form, alongside a verse translation, suggesting some of the poetic qualities of Ásvaghoṣa’s Sanskrit in the form of English blank verse and unrhymed ballad metre.
    • A lot of snow out of one cloud: : A Concordance Analysis of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester (Hélice, 2021-12-09)
      Whereas prior academic studies of the Hainish Cycle have been primarily produced by means of textual analysis, I demonstrate that a concordance analysis of its six novels reveals significant, yet heretofore overlooked, ecological aspects of Le Guin’s series. As becomes apparent, snow imagery literalises the Hainish Cycle’s New Wave moves from technological, to biological and sociological concerns, emphasising the series’ significant challenge to the technophilic assumptions and eschatological foundations of the preceding Golden Age. Accordingly, this article demonstrates the primacy of the datum of snow within the narratives of the Hainish Cycle novels, and delineates its important contribution to the series’ SFnal dialectic on aggregate.
    • Neocolonial Auspices: Rethinking the Ekumen in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester (International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (Idaho University), 2021-12-01)
      Although the Ekumen in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle have frequently been read as a utopian social body, their policy of contacting native cultures frequently provokes the erasure of that same cultural multiplicity which they purport to value. Hence, the uneven cultural synthesis enacted by the Ekumen across the galaxy cannot be intended as a positive epistemology of multicultural society. Rather, throughout the Hainish Cycle, the colonial practices of the Ekumen rhetorically contrast the series’ emphasis upon the multifaceted forms of life and culture found across the unassimilated worlds of the galaxy. Accordingly, Le Guin’s series problematizes the colonial practices of the Ekumen through what we might profitably term its mundane dialectic, which consequently engenders a cogent means of neocolonial discourse.
    • The Competing Values of Elim Leaders in Northern Ireland: A Theological and Practical Response

      Firth, Peter; Luke, David; Moore, Hamilton; Patterson, Mark G. (University of Chester, 2021-12-01)
      This thesis identifies how competing values divided transgenerational leaders from the Elim Movement in Northern Ireland (NI) over the last four decades. Divisions increased between leaders with competing values after changes to long-held beliefs and practices, which they never openly discussed until this research. This thesis also uses theological reflection to suggest how the situation may improve for leaders with competing values if they unite relationally to limit divisions and embrace their diversity. As an Elim leader, the researcher’s position allowed access to interview ten colleagues from NI for a qualitative investigation into their competing values in a field ready for extensive doctoral research. The “four voices of theology” model provided the structure for focused engagement with literature and empirical research to systematically examine four areas where leaders’ values competed: core principles, perspectives, differences and changes. The researcher reflected theologically on the field results to justify a unifying model that was always available but never intentionally prioritised. This model includes unifying values from the Apostles’ Doctrine and Fellowship in Acts 2:42 that leaders can prioritise in future collaboration. This thesis shows that it is apposite for Elim leaders to unite in closer relationships to embrace their diversity. Moreover, as a collaborative critique, this thesis hopes to contribute to practical theology by determining how Elim leaders’ competing values in NI are inevitable and can stop or stimulate progress for future practitioners and researchers.
    • Industrial Gentlemanliness: The fin-de-siècle adventure hero in text and image, 1870-1914

      Fegan, Melissa; West, Sally; Hall, Leo J. (University of Chester, 2021-11)
      This thesis identifies and examines representations of English heroic masculinities in imperialist adventure stories at the end of the nineteenth century. It contends that fin-de-siècle adventure stories are products of Victorian industrial, technological, and scientific developments. The chapters trace this context through analysis of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (1883), Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan of the Apes (1912), Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World (1912). A significant aspect of the texts is how their perspectives on the English identities of their heroes are informed by their authors’ ‘outsider’ status, for Stevenson and Conan Doyle were Scottish (the latter of Irish Catholic descent), Burroughs was American, and Verne was French. The Introduction to the thesis argues that central to identifying the relationship between the adventure hero and industrialisation are the original illustrations that were printed with the stories. These create intertextual and paratextual frames, showing how the context of industrial modernity moulds the fin-de-siècle masculine body and mind. The partnership between text and illustrations exposes the complex relationship between industrial modernity and heroic masculinity, particularly, the construction of an idealised gentlemanly identity and gendered performance. Stevenson claimed that penny dreadfuls influenced his development of characters and the action of Treasure Island, and Chapter One traces the impact of nineteenth-century print culture and the growth and dissemination of popular fiction in relation to both Stevenson’s Treasure Island and Burroughs’s Tarzan. Simultaneously, the influence of mid-century discourses regarding ideas of self-help and industriousness are analysed in the portrayals of Stevenson’s characters, especially the pirate Long John Silver. Chapter Two focuses on the topic of mobility and how the industrialised travel space is negotiated by adventurers. Verne’s Around the World demonstrates how international travel became more accessible, and how the speed of travel impacts on the curiosity of the orientalist traveller. Despite Phileas Fogg’s lack of engagement with his journey, a connection is established between the traveller and his immediate industrialised travel space. This is accentuated when Fogg is forced to use ‘exotic’ modes of transport, which ironically serve to delineate his Englishness, especially when placed against the other voices and behaviours of his fellow travel companions. Chapter Three identifies the psychological and physiological impact of science, industrialisation and technology upon Conan Doyle’s adventurers, showing how this is exposed during encounters abroad. The identity of the adventure heroes in these novels is moulded by a Western masculine heteronormative construct that is characterised by a visible gendered performance. This performance includes the body and its clothing and accessories. As the thesis argues, the fin-de-siècle adventure hero has a Janus-faced identity; constructed against a romanticised vision of the past and a nostalgic ideal of gentlemanliness, but also forward-looking in terms of forging a future for Britain through the imperialist dream. The thesis demonstrates that the adventure story is a paradox: an outcome of invention, scientific, technological and industrial progress, yet also a supposed escape from nineteenth-century industrial modernity.
    • The Social History of a Medieval Fish Weir, c. 600-2020

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2021-10-27)
      This paper presents the longue durée social history of a medieval fish weir. It reveals the significant role of fishing and fish weirs in the construction and reconstruction of social structures and cultural identities. It focuses on an enigmatic annual ceremony – the construction of the Horngarth or Penny Hedge at Whitby, North Yorkshire. It begins by arguing that this descends from the construction of a medieval intertidal fish weir. It then explores the possible social and cultural contexts in which it originated and the social and cultural circumstances that perpetuated its construction to the sixteenth century. It proceeds to consider the social and cultural changes that undermined its original function and transformed its significance in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, and how an invented tradition about it became important to the local identity and national reputation of the town.