Identity and liturgy: radicalisation in

  • Dawson, Jane (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


This project examined the process of radicalization on the basis of religious ideology. Using the three themes of identity, liturgy and radicalization the specific case study of the Marian exile examined how a radical confessional identity was constructed [1554-60] by a group of English and Scottish Protestants based first in Frankfürt and then in Geneva. The ‘example of Geneva’ entered the British Protestant tradition and influenced English-speaking religious groups down to the present. This case study was made possible by the discovery in Wales of previously-unknown manuscript correspondence that casts an entirely new light on the Marian exile.

Layman's description

This project examined how a religious group became radicalized and created a confessional identity that changed the nature of British Protestantism and the religious identity of the English-speaking world. It is a case study of a group of English and Scottish Protestants based first in Frankfürt and then in Geneva in 1554-60. Their battles over liturgy created the ‘example of Geneva’ that profoundly affected the Church of Scotland, the Church of England and helped form a ‘puritan’ mentality that spread throughout the English-speaking world. The study only became possible when previously-unknown manuscript letters were discovered in a Welsh archive.

Key findings

1. Discovery of previously-unknown letters that cast a new light on the Marian exile [1553-60]
2. New interpretation of the major struggle among the Marian exiles, called the ‘Troubles at Frankfürt’ of 1554-5.
3. New understanding the radicalism and pervasiveness of the ‘example of Geneva’ and its significance for Scotland, England, the entire British Protestant tradition and the English-speaking world.
4. Revised assessment of the long-term effects of the Frankfürt liturgical battle upon worship, devotion and discipline in Scotland and throughout English-speaking Protestantism.
AcronymMarian exile
Effective start/end date1/01/0830/04/08


  • AHRC: £35,120.00


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