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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 738: Materiality and Sanctity: St Thomas Becket among the Saints, III - Politics and Patrons

Tuesday 2 July 2019, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Centre for Medieval Studies, Cardiff University
Organisers:Elma Brenner, Wellcome Library, London
Paul Webster, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Moderator/Chair:Leonie V. Hicks, Department of History and American Studies, Canterbury Christ Church University
Paper 738-aA Monastic Becket: The Political Uses of Becket by the Monks of Canterbury in the 12th and 13th Century
(Language: English)
James Barnaby, School of History, University of East Anglia
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Monasticism, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 738-bThomas Becket and the Plantagenets: Atonement through Art
(Language: English)
Sara Lutan-Hassner, Department of Art History, Tel Aviv University
Index terms: Art History - General, Hagiography, Politics and Diplomacy, Religious Life
Paper 738-cEngland's Two Thomases: Becket, Cantilupe, and Models of the Bishop-Saint
(Language: English)
Ian Bass, Department of History, Politics & Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University

In continuing to explore material culture, the cult of the saints, devotion to St Thomas Becket and the impact of his cult, this session addresses themes of politics, patronage, and presentation. The first paper focuses on Canterbury, where the monastic cathedral chapter portrayed St Thomas Becket (whose relations with the monks as archbishop had been poor) as their champion. Becket was used as a weapon in the quest for material rewards. The second paper considers material evidence for penitential devotional acts by the Plantagenets, and the relationship between acts of atonement and the desire for atonement and political survival. The third contribution compares and contrasts the cults of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury and St Thomas Cantilupe at Hereford, considering the ways in which the two saints could be used to provide models of episcopal sanctity.