Natasha Wismark's MA Thesis Defence: 'WORLDLY WORDS AND SACRED IDEAS: THE SHIFTING MEANING AND USAGE OF “SECULAR,” 400-1600'
Date and Time
MCKN EXT. 2020
This thesis is a close examination of the word “secular” from the fifth century to the seventeenth century which examines its origins and the change in it usage over the course of medieval and early modern period primarily in England. Existing scholarship on the idea of the secular has ignored the meaning of the word and how its usage has adapted to social and political change. I argue that “secular” is not a static concept or simply society stripped of religion, but a complex neutral space which shifts within changing division along sacred and temporal lines. Along with a close reading of primary sources and foundation thinkers, I utilized text analysis software throughout my research in order to gain statistical data which tracks the changes in usage from 1473-1603.
Advisor: Peter Goddard
Committee Member: Greta Kroeker
External Examiner: William Cormack
Chair: Stuart McCook