The miraculously incorruptible hand of St. Margaret Clitherow, a recusant martyr in York under Elizabeth I, was hidden for centuries. It has also eluded academic scrutiny. It therefore provides a test case for what constitutes a significant object of study for historical inquiry into cultural change. This essay examines the hagiographical and academic treatments of St. Margaret Clitherow and her incorruptible hand in order to propose a new mode of attunement to the historical significance of religious phenomena. This attunement is developed theoretically using the resources of the theology of incorruptibility.

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