Search results for: religion-and-drama-in-early-modern-england

Religion and Drama in Early Modern England

Author : Elizabeth Williamson
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Offering fuller understandings of both dramatic representations and the complexities of religious culture, this collection reveals the ways in which religion and performance were inextricably linked in early modern England. Its readings extend beyond the interpretation of straightforward religious allusions and suggest new avenues for theorizing the dynamic relationship between religious representations and dramatic ones. By addressing the particular ways in which commercial drama adapted the sensory aspects of religious experience to its own symbolic systems, the volume enacts a methodological shift towards a more nuanced semiotics of theatrical performance. Covering plays by a wide range of dramatists, including Shakespeare, individual essays explore the material conditions of performance, the intricate resonances between dramatic performance and religious ceremonies, and the multiple valences of religious references in early modern plays. Additionally, Religion and Drama in Early Modern England reveals the theater's broad interpretation of post-Reformation Christian practice, as well as its engagement with the religions of Islam, Judaism and paganism.

Protestantism and Drama in Early Modern England

Author : Adrian Streete
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Containing detailed readings of plays by Shakespeare, Marlowe and Middleton, as well as poetry and prose, this book provides a major historical and critical reassessment of the relationship between early modern Protestantism and drama. Examining the complex and painful shift from late medieval religious culture to a society dominated by the ideas of the Reformers, Adrian Streete presents a fresh understanding of Reformed theology and the representation of early modern subjectivity. Through close analysis of major thinkers such as Augustine, William of Ockham, Erasmus, Luther and Calvin, the book argues for the profoundly Christological focus of Reformed theology and explores how this manifests itself in early modern drama. Moving beyond questions of authorial 'belief', Streete assesses Elizabethan and Jacobean drama's engagement with the challenges of the Reformation.

Performance and Religion in Early Modern England

Author : Matthew J. Smith
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In Performance and Religion in Early Modern England, Matthew J. Smith seeks to expand our view of “the theatrical.” By revealing the creative and phenomenal ways that performances reshaped religious material in early modern England, he offers a more inclusive and integrative view of performance culture. Smith argues that early modern theatrical and religious practices are better understood through a comparative study of multiple performance types: not only commercial plays but also ballads, jigs, sermons, pageants, ceremonies, and festivals. Our definition of performance culture is augmented by the ways these events looked, sounded, felt, and even tasted to their audiences. This expanded view illustrates how the post-Reformation period utilized new capabilities brought about by religious change and continuity alike. Smith posits that theatrical practice at this time was acutely aware of its power not just to imitate but to work performatively, and to create spaces where audiences could both imaginatively comprehend and immediately enact their social, festive, ethical, and religious overtures. Each chapter in the book builds on the previous ones to form a cumulative overview of early modern performance culture. This book is unique in bringing this variety of performance types, their archives, venues, and audiences together at the crossroads of religion and theater in early modern England. Scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, and those generally interested in the Renaissance will enjoy this book.

Shakespeare and Early Modern Religion

Author : David Loewenstein
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This volume freshly illuminates the diversity of early modern religious beliefs, practices and issues, and their representation in Shakespeare's plays.

Religious Conversion in Early Modern English Drama

Author : Lieke Stelling
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A cross-religious exploration of conversion on the early modern English stage offering fresh readings of canonical and lesser-known plays.

The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern English Literature and Religion

Author : Andrew Hiscock
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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.

Stages of Engagement

Author : James D. Mardock
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"Eleven essays explore the ways in which English drama reinforces, revises, resists, and reacts against the religious doctrine of the Reformation, and investigates how early modern drama was shaped by the religion of its producers and audiences"--

Convents and Novices in Early Modern English Dramatic Works

Author : Vanessa L. Rapatz
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Convents and Novices in Early Modern English Dramatic Works attends to the religious, social, and material changes in England during the century following the Reformation, specifically examining how the English came to terms with the meanings of convents and novices even after they disappeared from the physical and social landscape. In five chapters, it traces convents and novices across a range of dramatic texts that refuse easy generic classification: problem plays such as Shakespeare's Measure for Measure; Marlowe's comic tragedy The Jew of Malta; Margaret Cavendish's closet dramas The Convent of Pleasure and The Religious; Aphra Behn's Restoration comedy The Rover; and seventeenth-century dialogues that include both a Catholic treatise promoting women's entrance into European convents and a proto-pornographic exposé of such convents. Convents, novices, and problem plays emerge as parallel sites of ambiguity that reflect the social, political, and religious uncertainties England faced after the Reformation.

Marian Moments in Early Modern British Drama

Author : Regina Buccola
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Concerning itself with the complex interplay between iconoclasm against images of the Virgin Mary in post-Reformation England and stage representations that evoke various 'Marian moments' from the medieval, Catholic past, this collection answers the call for further investigation the complex relationship between the fraught religio-political culture of the period and the theater that it spawned. Contributors analyze the vestiges of Catholic tradition and culture that leak out in stage imagery, plot devices, and characterization.

Theatre and Religion

Author : Humanities Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English Richard Dutton
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Martyrs and Players in Early Modern England

Author : Professor David K. Anderson
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Focusing on Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, John Webster and John Milton, Martyrs and Players in Early Modern England argues that the English tragedians reflected an unease within the culture to acts of religious violence. David Anderson explores a link between the unstable emotional response of society to religious executions in the Tudor-Stuart period, and the revival of tragic drama as a major cultural form for the first time since classical antiquity.

The Idolatrous Eye

Author : Michael O'Connell
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Michael O'Connell shows that Reformation culture was preoccupied with idolatry and that the theatre was attacked as idolatrous. This anti-theatricalism targeted the traditional mystery plays. The text aims to explain what this meant for the secular theatre that followed.

Early Modern Academic Drama

Author : Paul D. Streufert
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In this essay collection, the contributors contend that academic drama represents an important, but heretofore understudied, site of cultural production in early modern England. Focusing on plays that were written and performed in academic environments such as Oxford University, Cambridge University, grammar schools, and the Inns of Court, the scholars investigate how those plays strive to give dramatic coherence to issues of religion, politics, gender, pedagogy, education, and economics. Of particular significance are the shifting political and religious contentions that so frequently shaped both the cultural questions addressed by the plays, and the sorts of dramatic stories that were most conducive to the exploration of such questions. The volume argues that the writing and performance of academic drama constitute important moments in the history of education and the theater because, in these plays, narrative is consciously put to work as both a representation of, and an exercise in, knowledge formation. The plays discussed speak to numerous segments of early modern culture, including the relationship between the academy and the state, the tensions between humanism and religious reform, the successes and failures of the humanist program, the social profits and economic liabilities of formal education, and the increasing involvement of universities in the commercial market, among other issues.

Martyrdom and Literature in Early Modern England

Author : Susannah Brietz Monta
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A comprehensive comparison of the representations of early modern Protestant and Catholic martyrs.

Literature Belief and Knowledge in Early Modern England

Author : Subha Mukherji
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The primary aim of Knowing Faith is to uncover the intervention of literary texts and approaches in a wider conversation about religious knowledge: why we need it, how to get there, where to stop, and how to recognise it once it has been attained. Its relative freedom from specialised disciplinary investments allows a literary lens to bring into focus the relatively elusive strands of thinking about belief, knowledge and salvation, probing the particulars of affect implicit in the generalities of doctrine. The essays in this volume collectively probe the dynamic between literary form, religious faith and the process, psychology and ethics of knowing in early modern England. Addressing both the poetics of theological texts and literary treatments of theological matter, they stretch from the Reformation to the early Enlightenment, and cover a variety of themes ranging across religious hermeneutics, rhetoric and controversy, the role of the senses, and the entanglement of justice, ethics and practical theology. The book should appeal to scholars of early modern literature and culture, theologians and historians of religion, and general readers with a broad interest in Renaissance cultures of knowing.

Magic and Masculinity in Early Modern English Drama

Author : Ian McAdam
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"The prevalent worldview of early modern England, shaped by Protestantism, dismissed magical belief as an ideological delusion inherent to Catholicism, while also encouraging a strong sense of individualism, through which a new masculinity found expressio

Rethinking the Turn to Religion in Early Modern English Literature

Author : Gregory Kneidel
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Offering new readings of major eary modern English poets such as Spenser, Milton and Donne, Kneidel counters the trend among literary critics to associate early modern religion with Pauline inwardness and self-formation by showing how these writers took Saint Paul as a model of rhetorical skill and political acumen.

Islamic Conversion and Christian Resistance on the Early Modern Stage

Author : Jane Hwang Degenhardt
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This book explores the threat of Christian conversion to Islam in twelve early modern English plays. In works by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Massinger, and others, conversion from Christianity to Islam is represented as both tragic and erotic, as a fate worse t

Fairies Fractious Women and the Old Faith

Author : Regina Buccola
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Fairies, unruly women, and vestigial Catholicism constituted a frequently invoked triad in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century drama which has seldom been critically examined and therefore constitutes a significant lacuna in scholarly treatments of early modern theater, including the work of Shakespeare. Fairy tradition has lost out in scholarly critical convention to the more masculine mythologies of Christianity and classical Greece and Rome, in which female deities either serve masculine gods or are themselves masculinized (i.e., Diana as a buckskinned warrior). However, the fairy tradition is every bit as significant in our critical attempts to situate early modern texts in their historical contexts as the references to classical texts and struggles associated with state-mandated religious beliefs are widely agreed to be. fairy, rebellious woman, quasi-Catholic trio repeatedly stages resistance to early modern conceptions of appropriate class and gender conduct and state-mandated religion in A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Cymbeline, All's Well That Ends Well, and Ben Jonson's The Alchemist.

Performing Early Modern Trauma from Shakespeare to Milton

Author : Thomas Page Anderson
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An examination of political and cultural acts of commemoration, this study addresses the connection of representation of violence in literary works to historical traumas such as royal death, secularization and regicide. Incorporating contemporary theories of trauma, Thomas Anderson here analyzes works by Shakepeare, Marlowe, Webster, Marvell and Milton. By interrogating the difficulty in representing historical crises in poetry, drama and political prose, Anderson demonstrates how early modern English identity is the fragile product of an ambivalent desire to flee history.