Leverhulme Fellowship for Dr Helen Gittos

Wednesday 06 May 2020

Helen Gittos (Associate Professor, Colyer-Fergusson Fellow and Tutor in Early Medieval History) has been awarded a one-year Leverhulme Research Fellowship

Commencing in 2021, the fellowship will allow her to complete a monograph entitled ‘English: The Forgotten Language of the Pre-Reformation Church’. She has been working on the project since 2010 and has already published a number of research papers on it. The abstract of the monograph reads: ‘Since at least the seventeenth century, it has been widely assumed that the language of the liturgy before the Reformation was Latin, a language that most lay people, and even some priests, could not understand. The monograph I will complete during this Fellowship demonstrates that medieval liturgy was multi-lingual, that English was used routinely, and that England was not exceptional in this: vernacular languages were used throughout the Western Church. This will transform our ideas about the nature of medieval religion and about what was at stake in the sixteenth-century protestant Reformation.’

The Leverhulme Trust is a large and prestigious UK grant-making organisation, established under the will of the 1st Viscount Leverhulme (18511925) with the purpose of ‘providing scholarships for research and education’.