Who will mourn with me? Who will break bread with me? Who is my neighbor? In the wake of the religious reformations of the sixteenth century, such questions called for a new approach to the communal religious rituals and verses that shaped and commemorated many of the brightest and darkest moments of English life. In England, new forms of religious writing emerged out of a deeply fractured spiritual community. Conflicts of Devotion reshapes our understanding of the role that poetry played in the re-formation of English community, and shows us that understanding both the poetics of liturgy and the liturgical character of poetry is essential to comprehending the deep shifts in English spiritual attitudes and practices that occurred during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The liturgical, communitarian perspective of Conflicts of Devotion sheds new light on neglected texts and deepens our understanding of how major writers such as Edmund Spenser, Robert Southwell, and John Donne struggled to write their way out of the spiritual and social crises of the age of the Reformation. It also sheds new light on the roles that poetry may play in negotiating—and even overcoming—religious conflict. Attention to liturgical poetics allows us to see the broad spectrum of ways in which English poets forged new forms of spiritual community out of the very language of theological division. This book will be of great interest to teachers and students of early modern poetry and of the various fields related to reformation studies: history, politics, and theology.
“Conflicts of Devotion is exceptionally well-written and is subtly and persuasively argued, advancing scholarship in such important ways as to change our ways of thinking about the major poets of this period. It will have special value to graduate students and young academics looking for an approach to their own writing.” —Gerard Wegemer, University of Dallas
|Publisher:||University of Notre Dame Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Daniel R. Gibbons is director of Undergraduate Studies in English at the Catholic University of America.
Table of Contents
Part I Redrawing the Boundaries
1 Accommodation and Exclusion: Writing Community in the 1559 Book of Common Prayer 29
Part II Early Responses-Mourning and Exclusion
2 Failing Consolation in Edmund Spenser's Elegies 75
3 Robert Southwell's Mission of Mourning 121
Part III Later Responses-Accommodating the Mystical Body
4 Reading Communion: Mystical Audience in John Donne's Lyric Poetry 153
5 In or Out? Lingering on the Threshold of George Herbert's The Temple 202
6 Incarnating Mystical Community in Crashaw's English Lyrics 231