Religiously motivated conflict – or conflict that is given religious underpinnings – is omnipresent in recorded history. Our own time is no exception. While the denominational conflicts within Christianity are ebbing away or at least lose their violence, other struggles emerge in other parts of the world, and thanks to globalization are of a more universal impact than religious conflict has ever been.
The present book is a study of how religious conflict, at one particular time and in one particular culture, manifested itself in biographical literature. In more precise terms, the study's achievement is twofold. It is primarily an analysis of hagiography as an ideological text type which was to supply the reading/listening public with apologetic arguments and behavioral rules. Yet more than that, it analyzes the connections between English religious biographies of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation as well as between these and their late medieval counterparts (saints' legends). This results in a comprehensive study of the various forms of (popular) religiosity in the time between 1450 and 1700 as it appears from religious narratives. The book uses approaches from imagology, cultural studies, new historicism, religion and literature, and law and literature.