John Donne and Conformity in Crisis in the Late Jacobean Pulpit

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This book considers the professional contribution of John Donne to an emerging homiletic public sphere in the last years of the Jacobean English Church (1621-25), arguing that his sermons embody the conflicts, tensions, and pressures on public religious discourse in this period; while they are in no way "typical" of any particular preaching agenda or style, they articulate these crises in their most complex forms and expose fault lines in the late Jacobean Church. The study is framed by Donne's two most pointed contributions to the public sphere: his sermon defending James I's Directions to Preachers and his first sermon preached before Charles I in 1625. These two sermons emerge from the crises of controversy, censorship, and identity that converged in the late Jacobean period, and mark Donne's clearest professional interventions in the public debate about the nature and direction of the Church of England. In them, Donne interrogates the boundaries of the public sphere and of his conformity to the institutions, authorities, and traditions governing public debate in that sphere, modelling for his audience an actively engaged conformist identity. Professor JEANNE SHAMI teaches in the Department of English at the University of Regina.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
With this most admirable and insightful study, Shami succeeds in illuminating a short but overwhelmingly significant period in English history. Highly recommended. CHOICE Exhaustively researched, intelligently arranged, and cogently argued. RENAISSANCE QUARTERLY A major achievement in Donne studies. (...) The scholarship is impeccable. STUDIES IN ENGLISH LITERATUREA painstaking and highly nuanced account of (Donne's) religious and political evolution during the period in question.(...) Clearly written, well organised, thoroughly documented in both primary and secondary sources, beautifully indexed, and handsomely produced.(...) This very fine series. SIXTEENTH CENTURY JOURNAL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780859917896
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/3/2003
  • Series: Studies in Renaissance Literature, #13
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

1 "Discreet or religious preachers": John Donne and the late Jacobean Public Sphere 1
2 "The indiscretion of that foole": John Knight and the Jacobean Pulpit, 1620-2 36
3 "The fishing of whales": John Donne's Sermons, 1620-2 75
4 "Faire interpretation": The Directions and the Crisis of Censorship 102
5 "Wise as Serpents, and innocent as Doves": Zeal and Discretion in the Pulpit, 1623-5 139
6 "Jesus Wept": The Journey to Spain and Pulpit Lamentation 166
7 "Blinde buzzards in the choise of a wife": Sermons and the Moral Marketplace 183
8 "The Lovesick Spouse": Parliament, Patriots, and the Public Sphere 212
9 "Church-quakes": Post-Parliamentary Faultlines 234
10 "If the Foundations be Destroyed": Rules of Engagement 256
11 "Blessed sobriety": John Donne, the Public Sphere, and Caroline Conformity 272
Works Cited 284
General Index 297
Index to John Donne References 313
Index to John Donne's Sermons 317
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