The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern English Literature and Religion (Paperback)

The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern English Literature and Religion Cover Image
By Andrew Hiscock (Editor), Helen Wilcox (Editor)
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This pioneering Handbook offers a comprehensive consideration of the dynamic relationship between English literature and religion in the early modern period. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were the most turbulent times in the history of the British church and, perhaps as a result, produced some of the greatest devotional poetry, sermons, polemics, and epics of literature in English. The early-modern interaction of rhetoric and faith is addressed in thirty-nine chapters of original research, divided into five sections.

The first analyses the changes within the church from the Reformation to the establishment of the Church of England, the phenomenon of puritanism and the rise of non-conformity. The second section discusses ten genres in which faith was explored, including poetry, prophecy, drama, sermons, satire, and autobiographical writings. The middle section focuses on selected individual authors, among them Thomas More, Christopher Marlowe, John Donne, Lucy Hutchinson, and John Milton. Since authors never write in isolation, the fourth section examines a range of communities in which writers interpreted their faith: lay and religious households, sectarian groups including the Quakers, clusters of religious exiles, Jewish and Islamic communities, and those who settled in the new world. Finally, the fifth section considers some key topics and debates in early modern religious literature, ranging from ideas of authority and the relationship of body and soul, to death, judgment, and eternity.

The Handbook is framed by a succinct introduction, a chronology of religious and literary landmarks, a guide for new researchers in this field, and a full bibliography of primary and secondary texts relating to early modern English literature and religion.

About the Author

Andrew Hiscock, Professor of English Literature, School of English Literature, Bangor University, Wales, Helen Wilcox, Professor of English Literature, School of English Literature, Bangor University, Wales Andrew Hiscock is Professor of English Literature at Bangor University. He has published widely on English and French early modern literature. He is a Trustee of the Modern Humanities Research Association and a Fellow of the English Association. He is English literature editor of the journal MLR, series editor of The Yearbook of English Studies and series co-editor of Arden Early Modern Drama Guides. He is a former AHRC research fellow and is a Marie Sklowdowska-Curie Research Fellow at the Research Institute for the Renaissance, the Neo-Classical Age and the Enlightenment at Montpellier 3 University. His most recent monograph is entitled Reading Memory in Early Modern Literature. Helen Wilcox is Professor of English Literature at Bangor University. She has published extensively on early modern English literature, particularly devotional poetry, women's writing, Shakespeare, early autobiography, and the relationships between literature and religion, music, and the visual arts. Her publications include Her Own Life: Autobiographical Writings by Seventeenth-Century Englishwomen (Routledge, 1989), the acclaimed annotated edition of The English Poems of George Herbert (Cambridge, 2007) and 1611: Authority, Gender and the Word in Early Modern England (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014). She has been a visiting professor in Singapore, Spain, and the USA., and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the English Association, and the Learned Society of Wales.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780198857341
ISBN-10: 0198857349
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: May 5th, 2020
Pages: 850
Language: English
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