Doctrine and Devotion in Seventeenth-Century Poetry

February 2000
3 black and white illustrations
249 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Renaissance Literature
ISBN: 9780859915694
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
BISAC LIT014000, LIT004120

Doctrine and Devotion in Seventeenth-Century Poetry

Studies in Donne, Herbert, Crashaw, and Vaughan

R.V. Young

English devotional poets of 17c set in a wider European and Catholic context.
This book offers a comprehensive account of the literary and theological background to English devotional poetry of the seventeenth century, concentrating on four major poets, Donne, Herbert, Vaughan and Crashaw. It challenges both Protestant poetics and postmodernism, the prevailing critical approaches to Renaissance literature: by reading the poetry in the light of continental Catholic devotional literature and theology, the author demonstrates that religious poetry in seventeenth-century England was not rigidly or exclusively Protestant in its doctrinal and liturgical orientation. He argues that poetic genres and devices that have been ascribed to strict Reformation influence are equally prominent in the Catholic poetry of Spain and France; he also shows that postmodernist anxiety about subjective identity and the capacity of language for signification is in fact a concern of such landmark Christian thinkers as Augustine and Aquinas, and appears in devotional poetry in the Christian tradition. Professor R.V. YOUNGteaches at North Carolina State University.

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Highly intelligent and passionately written book. JOURNAL OF ENGLISH & GERMANIC PHILOLOGY Will send readers back with increased understanding to English devotional poetry. LITERATURE AND THEOLOGY Judicious, finely discriminating, and broadly informed by interdisciplinary excursions into theology and art. SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY NEWS A welcome addition to scholarship. MLR A vigorous revision of the seventeenth-century religious lyric, and makes stimulating reading. An innovative and scholarly study that is likely to redraw the map for reading the seventeenth-century religious lyric. YEAR'S WORK IN ENGLISH STUDIES The best general book on England's great devotional poets [to be published] since the 1950's. RELIGION & LITERATURE

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