Redcrosse: Remaking Religious Poetry for Today's World

Research output: Book/ReportBook


  • Ewan Fernie (Editor)
  • Michael Symmons Roberts
  • Andrew Shanks
  • Jo Shapcott

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Manchester Cathedral
  • Royal Holloway University of London


Do poetry and criticism matter in today’s world?

How can the poetry of the past help us tackle the changing nature of religious faith and national identity?

This book explores the creation of Redcrosse, a new poetic liturgy for St George’s Day and a unique collaborative work written by the critic Ewan Fernie, the theologian Andrew Shanks and the major contemporary poets Jo Shapcott, Michael Symmons Roberts and Andrew Motion. Leading writers - including John Milbank, Salley Vickers and Sarah Apetrei, together with authors of Redcrosse itself - reflect on the creation of the liturgy and its central inspiration, Edmund Spenser’s epic Renaissance poem, The Faerie Queene, as well as on its two premieres in St George’s Chapel, Windsor and Manchester Cathedral, and its sometimes controversial public reception.

Including the full text of Redcrosse, the volume triumphantly shows that a new poetic work really can address some of the most pressing concerns of our time.


Original languageEnglish
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages224
ISBN (Print)9781441138996
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2012