Continuity, authority and the place of heritage in the Medieval world
University of Exeter
Journal of Historical Geography
This essay supports the contention that knowledge of the past should be seen as a political resource. Furthermore, the interpretation of a particular version of the past is related to power differentiation and the legitimisation of authority. The subjective use of the past is not a recent phenomenon and in this paper, the use of the past is related to the construction of identity and ecclesiastical organisation during the Medieval period. Bourdieu's notion of habitus is used as a way of grounding the rhetoric of legitimisation, with particular reference to ecclesiastical authority. Hagiographical accounts and legends correspond to discourses of power and are related to the (re)production of a religious identity that legitimated Church authority. The essay pays special attention to west Cornwall where such institutional power is related to an identity that is generated via contemporary notions of heritage and a particular sense of past.
Copyright © 2000 Elsevier. NOTICE: This is the author’s version of a work accepted for publication by Elsevier. Changes resulting from the publishing process, including corrections, structural formatting and other quality control mechanisms, may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Historical Geography, Vol 25 (1), 2000, pp. 47-59. DOI:10.1006/jhge.1999.0190
Journal of Historical Geography, 26 (1), January 2000: pp. 47-59