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This volume presents a thorough study of the more than a thousand preserved Danish medieval rural parish churches. It traces the transformations of church interiors from c. 1450 to 1600 (thus covering both the emergence and impact of the Danish Reformation) by interpreting material changes within a broad historical perspective that highlights changes in religious practices and liturgy. The book explores the spatial and artistic implications of liturgy as well as the role of the congregation, the donor, and the clergy both in shaping and disrupting these interiors. It sets out to answer four basic questions: What did these rural churches look like by the middle of the fifteenth century? How did they change from the middle of the fifteenth century to the end of the sixteenth? How were they used and integrated into public as well as private ceremonies? And how may these churches have been perceived and experienced by the congregation and clergy?
This study seeks to establish a methodological framework that incorporates the disciplines of archaeology, art history, history, and theology, in order to facilitate an overall understanding of the architectural setting, embracing spatial, material, and artistic elements within the church through liturgy.