Culture & History Digital Journal, Vol 6, No 1 (2017)

“The Godly Greedy Appetite”: New Relic Circulation in the Early Modern World

Igor Pérez Tostado
Universidad Pablo de Olavide. Departamento de Geografía, Historia y Filosofía, Spain


Having lost all monasteries and a good deal of its medieval Christian movable assets, England became one of the greatest producers of new Catholic relics during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This article aims to look, from a material point of view, at the circulation and consumption of English relics on the Catholic continent. In this case, these products were created because of violence and circulated as an answer to it. Gifts and the exchange of relics served to obtain support for the exiled Catholics and for the institutions providing for their education created in the continent, and allowed them to participate in the necropolitics of the Spanish Monarchy. Relics, artifacts and printed and manuscript narratives brought back from all over the world helped construct a selfimage of an English Catholic as a necrocommunity imbued by a sense of historical continuity and connected to a global imagined community.


Sacred Economy; Relics; Religious Violence; Martyrdom; Spanish Monarchy; England; Circulation; Necropolitics; Necrocommunities

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