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Rob Lutton

Lecturer, Faculty of Arts

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Expertise Summary

I welcome doctoral students who wish to research any aspect of the social and cultural history of England c.1200-c.1600, in particular popular religion, including heresy and heterodoxy, church history, and memory.

Teaching Summary

The modules I teach reflect my interests in the social and cultural history of late medieval England. I contribute to the first year team-taught module 'Introduction to the Medieval World, 1000-1500'… read more

Research Summary

My research is focused on the religious practices and beliefs of lay people in England from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries. Much of this work has involved investigation of the relationship… read more

Selected Publications

  • LUTTON, R., 2013. The name of Jesus, Nicholas Love's mirror, and Christocentric devotion in late Medieval England. In: JOHNSON, I. and WESTPHALL, A.F., eds., The Pseudo-Bonaventuran Lives of Christ: exploring the Middle English tradition Brepols. 19-53
  • LUTTON, R., 2011. Lollardy, orthodoxy, and cognitive psychology. In: HORNBECK, J.P. and BOSE, M., eds., Wycliffite controversies Brepols. 97-119
  • LUTTON, R., 2011. "Love this name that is IHC": vernacular prayers, hymns and lyrics to the Holy Name of Jesus in Pre-Reformation England. In: SALTER, E. and WICKER, H., eds., Vernacularity in England and Wales, c. 1300-1550 Brepols. 119-145
  • ROB LUTTON, 2010. Heresy and Heterodoxy in Late Medieval Kent. In: SHEILA SWEETINBURGH, ed., Late Medieval Kent, 1220-1540 Boydell Press. 167-87

The modules I teach reflect my interests in the social and cultural history of late medieval England. I contribute to the first year team-taught module 'Introduction to the Medieval World, 1000-1500' that surveys the social, political and cultural history of Europe. My second year module 'Heroes and Villains in the Middle Ages' explores medieval ideology and value-systems, history writing, myth-making and memory through examination of key historical and legendary figures ranging from King Arthur to Richard III. My third-year special subject, 'Faith and Fire', provides an opportunity for students to explore, in depth, the wide range of primary sources that provide evidence of the religious practices, experiences and beliefs of the people of late medieval England and to engage with major historical debates about the nature and dynamics of popular religion prior to the Reformation. At postgraduate level, I contribute to: 'Power and Authority: records of the medieval world', 'Heresy and Religious Dissent in the Middle Ages' and to the teaching of Medieval Palaeography.

I next expect to be on research leave in the spring semester of the academic year 2018/19.

Current Research

My research is focused on the religious practices and beliefs of lay people in England from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries. Much of this work has involved investigation of the relationship between orthodox and heterodox pieties.

I am currently writing a book on the cult of the Holy Name of Jesus in England, c. 1300-c.1550. The research was supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship in 12011-12 and explores the reasons and consequences of the growth in religious behaviour in England during this period by focusing on how and why devotion to the name of Jesus gained a popular following. The name 'Jesus' meant 'saviour' and was invoked for healing, protection and salvation, and also became important in mystical and devotional practices and in the liturgy. The research uses a range of evidence including religious books containing services, prayers, hymns and theological tracts, last wills that record support for devotion to the name of Jesus by individuals close to death, in the form of bequests for the celebration of masses of the name of Jesus for example, and churchwardens' accounts that mention things like altars that were dedicated to the name of Jesus or the activities of Jesus fraternities. The research is important because, by exploring the particular appeal of the name of Jesus in this historical period, it sheds light on the nature of religious belief and practice in the past and why certain religious ideas and practices gain popular followings. It also has the potential to tell us about the ways religion was changing prior to the Reformation and how the medieval religious heritage went on to shape Western culture.

Lollardy and Orthodox Religion in Pre-Reformation EnglandMy monograph, Lollardy and Orthodox Religion in Pre-Reformation England, offers an interpretation of heterodoxy, in a major Lollard centre, through the close investigation of orthodox religiosities and detailed reconstruction of the social and economic dynamics that underpinned the fragmentation of collective religious life prior to the Reformation. Please see here for further details.

Subsequently I have extended the scope of my research to consider the nature and dynamics of piety across the period c. 1400-1640. This led to the publication of a jointly edited collection of essays that highlight the centrality of processes of transition in the experience and practice of religion with the intention of raising theoretical and methodological issues in the study of late medieval and early modern pieties. An authored chapter within this collection investigates the ways in which pre-Reformation religious cultures in small urban centres helped to shape responses to reform and the development of Protestantism and Nonconformity in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Please see here for further details.

I continue to research and write on lollardy and heterdoxy in late medieval England and I am interested in questions concerning the nature of memory in the Middle Ages and the application of ideas drawn from cognitive psychology and cognitive anthropology to representations of medieval memory and remembering.

Pieties in TransitionArticles and chapters include:

  • " 'Love this Name that is IHC': Vernacular Prayers, Hymns and Lyrics to the Holy Name of Jesus in Pre-Reformation England" in E. Salter and H. Wicker (eds), Vernacularity in England and Wales c. 1350-1550, Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy (Brepols, 2010)
  • 'Lollardy, Orthodoxy and Cognitive Psychology', in M. Bose and P. Horbeck (eds), Wycliffite Controversies (Brepols, 2011)
  • 'Heresy and Heterodoxy in Late Medieval Kent' in S. Sweetinburgh (ed.), Late Medieval Kent (Kent History Project, Boydell & Brewer, 2010)
  • 'Vice, Virtue and Contemplation', in R. Hanna and T. Turville-Petre (eds), The Wollaton Medieval Manuscripts: Texts, Owners and Readers (Boydell & Brewer, 2010)
  • 'Richard Guldeford's Pilgrimage: piety and cultural change in late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century England', History 98: 1 (2013)
  • 'The Name of Jesus, Nicholas Love's Mirror, and Christocentric Devotion in Late Medieval England', in Geographies of Orthodoxy: Opening the Pseudo-Bonaventuran Middle English Lives of Christ, ed. Ian Johnson and Allan Westphall (Brepols, 2013)

Supervision

I have successfully supervised to completion the following PhD students:

  • Alan Kissane, 'Lay Identity in Fourteenth-Century Lincoln' (University of Nottingham Funded, started October 2009, completed 2013)
  • Matthew Ward, 'Affinity and commemoration in late-medieval England: the visual representation of Yorkist and Lancastrian livery collars on funerary monuments, church architecture and in documentary sources, c.1450 to c.1500' (University of Nottingham Funded, started October 2009, completed 2013)
  • Marianne Wilson, 'The impact of Lincoln Cathedral upon religious practice in the city of Lincoln c.1400-1540' (University of Nottingham and AHRC funded, completed 2014)
  • Rebecca Maryan, 'Humoral theory in English and North European religious writing, c. 1300-1450' (University of Nottingham Funded, completed 2016)
  • Ann Garfield, 'The Progress of the Reformation in South Northamptonshire' (Part-time, completed 2016)

I am currently supervising the following PhD students:

  • Harry Barmby, 'An investigation into the punishment of heresy in Languedoc during the thirteenth century' (AHRC funded, started 2013)
  • Elizabeth Wiedenheft, 'The Delatio in Medieval Europe' (Nottingham Vice Chancellor's Research Excellence Overseas Scholarship, started 2013)
  • Laura Di Stefano, 'The Business of Pilgrimage in Fifteenth-Century Venice' (Nottingham Vice Chancellor's Research Excellence Scholarship, started 2014)
  • Victoria Carrington, 'The changing perception of leprosy in medieval and early modern England' (AHRC Midlands 3 Cities funded, started 2015)
  • Martin Roberts, 'Ecclesiastical Justice at the Cusp of the Reformation: The Study and Interpretation of its written legacy with particular reference to some records of the Audience Court of John Longland, bishop of Lincoln' (started 2015)
  • Hannah Ingram, 'Archetypes and Individuals: Reconstructing Late Medieval Lenders and Borrowers' (AHRC Midlands 3 Cities funded, started 2015)
  • Esther Lewis, 'Popular Piety in pre-Reformation Bristol, c. 1400-1500 (AHRC Midlands 3 Cities funded, started 2016)
  • Alexandra Marchbank, 'Testamentary Piety: the evidence of Norfolk and Kent Wills, c. 1400-1535' (AHRC Midlands 3 Cities funded, started 2016)

Conference papers, workshops and round tables:

'The Cult of St John of Bridlington', Celebrating the Heritage Conference, Bridlington Priory in its Historical Context, September 2013

Remembered Places and Invented Traditions: Thinking about the Holy Land in the Late Medieval West an AHRC Translating Cultures Research Network - network member and speaker at workshops 2012 and on roundtable at IMC, Leeds, July 2013;

Participant, Medieval Heresy Roundtable, IMC, Leeds, July 2013;

'Honey in the mouth, music in the ear, a song in the heart': the sensuality of the Name of Jesus in late Medieval England', Sensing the Sacred Conference, University of York, June 2013

'Assessing the religious significance of the cult of the Holy Name of Jesus in late medieval England', University of Bristol Medieval Studies Research Seminar, June 2013;

Invited participant - Belief in the Middle Ages research workshop, Exeter College, Oxford 2012;

'The dissemination of devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus in the English parish church, c.1450-c.1547', International Medieval Congress, Leeds, July 2012

'Lollards and the name of Jesus: orthodox and heterodox identities and practices in late medieval England', Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, St Louis, Miss., March 2012

'The dissemination of the Jesus mass in Kent, c. 1460-c.1540', University of Kent, Late Medieval Kent conference, December 2011

'Narrative, confession and the remembered self in late medieval English heresy trial records', International Society for Cultural History, Oslo, August 2011

'"O helthful name". The benefits of devotion to the name of Jesus in late medieval England', International Medieval Congress, Leeds, July 2010

'What's in a Name? Modes of devotion to the name of Jesus in late medieval England', Faith and Inwardness in the Middle Ages, Birkbeck College, June 2010

'Lollardy, Orthodoxy and Cognitive Psychology', International Medieval Congress, Leeds, July 2009

'Some approaches to the relationship between Lollardy and orthodoxy', Lollard Affiliations Conference, The Lollard Society, Oriel College, Oxford, July 2008

'Desperately seeking the "first person" narrative: heresy depositions', International Medieval Congress, Leeds, July 2008

'John Foxe, Lollardy, heresy and the construction of Protestantism in Kent', University of Sheffield, John Foxe project workshop, April 2008

' "Love this name that is IHC": vernacular prayers, hymns and lyrics to the holy name of Jesus in pre-Reformation and Reformation England', Reformation Studies Colloquium, York, April 2008

'Cultural diversity, orthodoxy and heterodoxy in pre-reformation Kent', paper presented at Religious History of Britain, 1500-1800 seminar, Institute of Historical Research, November 2007

'The Proliferation of Vernacular Christocentric Prayers, Hymns and Lyrics in 15th and early 16th-Century England' paper presented at International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, July 2007

'Parochial religion, heterodoxy and Nonconformity in two Wealden parishes', paper presented at the Warwick Parish Research Workshop, University of Warwick, May 2007

'Psychology, Representation and Transmission: how might cognitive approaches contribute to the understanding of late medieval religious beliefs?', paper presented at the 'Social Church Workshop', Oriel College, Oxford, March 2007.

'Vocabularies of Anger and Trauma in the Early Reformation', paper presented at International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, July 2006

'Lifecycles of Piety: cultural transmission and transition in Richard Guldeford's pilgrimage text', paper presented at International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, July 2005

'Prayer, Imagination and the Construction of Pious Identities', paper presented at 'Praying and Reading' - A Manuscript Workshop, Canterbury Centre for Medieval and Tudor Studies, University of Kent, March 2005

'Geographies and Materialities of Piety: Exploring conflicting narratives of religious change in fifteenth and sixteenth century England', paper presented at History Department Research Seminar, Exeter University, January 2005 and Canterbury Centre for Medieval and Tudor Studies MA Seminar, University of Kent, February 2005

'Geographies and Materialities of Piety', paper presented at 'Performing Pieties, Practicing Belief' Symposium, School of English, Queen's University Belfast, October 2004

'New forms of Christocentric devotion in late medieval England: intention, expectation, and translation', workshop contribution, 'Recovering Reading' conference on reception histories and medieval texts at Queen's University, Belfast, April 2004

'Clergy, piety and the transmission of new ideas in the Weald of Kent and the Diocese of Canterbury, c. 1420 - c. 1540', paper presented at International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 2001

'Godparenthood, kinship and piety in the Weald of Kent 1450-1540', paper presented at International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 2000

'The diversity of late medieval piety in Tenterden c.1400-c.1550; some implications for Reformation studies', paper presented at History Seminar, University of Kent, 1999

'Heterodoxy and orthodoxy in the Lollard centre of Tenterden c.1420-c.1540', paper presented at London Medieval Society, Autumn Colloquium, 1998

'The social origins of parsimonious piety in pre-Reformation Tenterden', paper presented at Medieval and Tudor Studies Research Seminar, University of Kent, January 1998

'Creating and re-creating communities; parish, piety and identity in pre-Reformation Kent', paper presented at International Medieval Congress, Leeds, July 1996

'Method and theory in the reconstruction of family piety in late medieval England', paper presented at 'M6 seminar', University of Manchester, November 1994

'Locating the limits of religious diversity; family piety in the Kentish Weald in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries', paper presented at the Summer Conference of the Ecclesiastical History Society, University of Nottingham, July 1994

'Licit and illicit piety; godly families in the late medieval Kentish Weald', paper presented at Medieval Studies Graduate Seminar, University of York, June 1994

'Approaches to the reconstruction of late medieval belief; individuality versus family and community', paper presented at Medieval and Tudor Studies Research Seminar, University of Kent, February 1993

'Heresy and industry in the countryside; the myth of a Lollard-artisan under-class', and 'Women, family and religion in late fifteenth and early sixteenth century Kent', papers presented at Joint Canterbury-York Graduate Conference, June 1992 and June 1993 respectively

Public lectures

'God, Sex and Fashion; the reading habits of the fifteenth-century gentlewoman', Wollaton Manuscripts Public Lecture, Lakeside Arts Centre, Summer 2010

'How Important was Religious Belief in the English Reformation', lecture delivered at the Leicester Grammar Annual Sixth-Form Conference, Leicester Grammar School, May 2007

  • ROB LUTTON, 2015. Bridlington Priory in Late Medieval England and the Cult of John Thweng. In: PENELOPE WESTON AND DAVID WESTON, ed., Celebrating the Heritage: Bridlington Priory in its Historical Context, 1113-2013 Bridlington Priory, Bridlington. 19-32
  • LUTTON, R., 2013. The name of Jesus, Nicholas Love's mirror, and Christocentric devotion in late Medieval England. In: JOHNSON, I. and WESTPHALL, A.F., eds., The Pseudo-Bonaventuran Lives of Christ: exploring the Middle English tradition Brepols. 19-53
  • LUTTON, R., 2011. "Love this name that is IHC": vernacular prayers, hymns and lyrics to the Holy Name of Jesus in Pre-Reformation England. In: SALTER, E. and WICKER, H., eds., Vernacularity in England and Wales, c. 1300-1550 Brepols. 119-145
  • LUTTON, R., 2011. Lollardy, orthodoxy, and cognitive psychology. In: HORNBECK, J.P. and BOSE, M., eds., Wycliffite controversies Brepols. 97-119
  • ROB LUTTON, 2010. Heresy and Heterodoxy in Late Medieval Kent. In: SHEILA SWEETINBURGH, ed., Late Medieval Kent, 1220-1540 Boydell Press. 167-87
  • ROB LUTTON, 2010. Vice, Virtue and Contemplation: The Willoughbys' Religious Books and Devotional Interests. In: RALPH HANNA & THORLAC TURVILLE-PETRE, ed., The Wollaton Medieval Manuscripts: Texts, Owners & Readers York Medieval Press. 68-78
  • LUTTON, R., 2007. Geographies and materialities of piety: reconciling competing narratives of religious change in pre-Reformation and Reformation England. In: LUTTON, R. and SALTER, E., eds., Pieties in transition: religious practices and experiences, c.1400-1640 Aldershot: Ashgate. 11-39
  • LUTTON, R. and SALTER, E., eds., 2007. Pieties in Transition: religious practices and experiences, c.1400-1600 Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • LUTTON, R., 2006. Lollardy and orthodox religion in pre-Reformation England: reconstructing piety Woodbridge: Boydell Press.
  • LUTTON, R., 2003. Godparenthood, Kinship and Piety in Tenterden, England 1449-1537. In: I. DAVIS, M. MUELLER AND S. REES JONES, ed., Love, Marriage and Family Ties in the Later Middle Ages Turnhout: Brepols. 217-234
  • ROB LUTTON, 1997. Connections between Lollards, Townsfolk and Gentry in Tenterden in the Late Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries. In: ASTON, M. and RICHMOND, C., eds., Lollardy and the Gentry in the Later Middle Ages Stroud: Sutton Publishing. 199-228

Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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