The Singing Bull: Liturgical Culture and Vernacular Writing in England, 1000-1550


Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars




A book treating the role of liturgy and liturgical institutions in the formation of English literature, from the pre-Conquest period through the Reformation. Chapters will examine a variety of literary and msuical texts (Aelfric's Homilies, Langland's Piers Plowman, Middle English songs and lyrics, Latin motets, the Book of Common Prayer, and many others) alongside and through the liturgical cultures from which such works emerged, arguing that liturgy was a powerful force for literary production and innovation for many centuries. The book is interdisciplinary, drawing on musicology, the history of religion, and other fields to engage in a large-scale reassessment of the shaping role of religious institutions and performances in the history of early English literature.