Pfaff at Fifty: 

New devotions and religious change in Later Medieval England

Altar detail, Norwich. 


Friday 1st - Saturday 2nd July 2022


Humanities Building, University Park, Nottingham


£25 for 1 day / £45 for both days
Full delegate:
£40 for 1 day / £60 for both days
Online only:
FREE via Teams


This fascinating two-day conference explores the enduring legacy of Richard W. Pfaff’s New Liturgical Feasts in Later Medieval England, fifty years on from its original publication. In-person attendance is available at a subsidised rate thanks to generous support from the Department of History at the University of Nottingham and the Medium Aevum society, whose annual lecture forms part of the event. 

It is also possible to attend the conference free online. Simply register via the links below: 

  • Register to attend online on Friday 1st July 
  • Register to attend online on Satuday 2nd July 
  • Register to attend the keynote and Medium Aevum Annual Lecture 2022 (this is free to attend in person, as well as online).

Keynote Speaker

Ryan Perry (Kent):
Middle English Books of Devotion and Liturgical Privatisation in Fifteenth-century England


Friday 1st July

  • Transmitting Liturgy and Sacrament in Late-Medieval England
  • Pecock and the Liturgy
  • Agents of Liturgical Innovation
  • Rolle On!
  • Rev. David Pfaff on his Father’s Life and Work (followed by wine reception)

Saturday 2nd July 

  • Text and Materiality in Lay Religious Books
  • Liturgy and Piety in Parish and Cathedral
  • Textual Conversations and the Contemplative Life
  • Liturgical and Devotional Proliferation
  • KEYNOTE: The 2022 Medium Ævum Annual Lecture)

Is this event for you?

‘Pfaff at Fifty’ aims to take stock of the enduring legacy of New Liturgical Feasts by reconsidering the important questions that this touchstone book raised. 

Originally published in 1970, Richard W. Pfaff’s New Liturgical Feasts in Later Medieval England fundamentally changed the way humanities scholars thought and wrote about English religious development in the long fifteenth century. Even though he was a liturgical scholar Pfaff’s pioneering study opened new pathways and provided a new impetus for scholars to explore religious culture as a whole in all its variety. As a result, fifty years after NLF’s publication, we have a much greater appreciation of the vitality, as well as the complexity, of late medieval religion.

The papers presented at ‘Pfaff at Fifty’ will address the themes, questions, and implications of Pfaff’s book in the light of new research. The conference features contributions from scholars working in a wide range of disciplines and fields, including history, musicology, art history, literary studies, theology, and manuscript studies. The participants represent research institutions in nine countries from the UK, Europe, North America, and Australia.




The University of Nottingham
University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151