Having completed a major and substantial volume on indulgences in pre-Reformation England in 2007 (see below), current work is moving increasingly towards a major investigation of the parish in pre-Reformation England, and expanding the analysis of the role of the church as a social and economic force.
My doctoral research examined the contribution made by universities to the European debates provoked by the double election to the papacy in 1378, and the subsequent search for reunion through to 1417. That generated my first book, and a series of articles; it remains an interest, but not a prominent one. Work on the English church has provided the basis for other books and articles, on aspects ranging from clerical careers to receipts at shrines, from the incomes of bishops to the value of benefices. This work has always been heavily archival, its range reflected in the volume of translated and edited sources, Catholic England (1993).
Often research and publication are a way of getting something out of my system, exemplified in the volume on The Twelfth Century Renaissance (1999), which arose immediately from an Option course taught at Birmingham, but ultimately from an unresolved interest sparked as an undergraduate, which had niggled away for many years before being eventually worked out. My most recent major project, now completed, has been an examination of indulgences in pre-Reformation. This has generated several publications, including the edited volume of essays by an international group of scholars, Promissory Notes on the Treasury of Merits: Indulgences in Late Medieval Europe (2006), the work culminating in the major monograph, Indulgences in Late Medieval England: Passports to Paradise? (2007).