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Literature and Religious Culture in Seventeenth-Century England


  • Author: Reid Barbour, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Date Published: March 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521809474

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About the Authors
  • Reid Barbour's 2002 study takes a fresh look at English Protestant culture in the reign of Charles I (1625–1649). In the decades leading into the civil war and the execution of their monarch, English writers explored the experience of a Protestant life of holiness, looking at it in terms of heroic endeavours, worship, the social order, and the cosmos. Barbour examines sermons and theological treatises to argue that Caroline religious culture comprises a rich and extensive stocktaking of the conditions in which Protestantism was celebrated, undercut, and experienced. Barbour argues that this stocktaking was also carried out in unusual and sometimes quite secular contexts; in the masques, plays and poetry of the era as well as in scientific works and diaries. This broad-ranging study offers an extensive appraisal of crucial seventeenth-century themes, and will be of interest to historians as well as literary scholars of the period.

    • Examination of a vital period in the history of the English Reformation
    • The book takes an interdisciplinary approach
    • It offers an insight into Stuart literature
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'Literature and Religious Culture in Seventeenth-Century England has an exhilaratingly wide range of reference, and, in its quest to demonstrate that Church of England orthodoxy was far from uniform, goes in for some startling contrasts.' The Times Literary Supplement

    Review of the hardback: 'Reid Barbour offers a wide-ranging study … Barbour presents a rich array of materials and a new angle on many texts …' Literature & History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521809474
    • length: 292 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: spirit and circumstances in Caroline Protestantism
    1. The church heroic: Charles, Laud, and Little Gidding
    2. Great Tew and the skeptical hero
    3. Between liturgy and dreams: the church fanciful
    4. Respecting persons
    5. Decorum and redemption in the theater of the person
    6. Nature (I): Post-Baconian Mysteries
    7. Nature (II): Church and Cosmos
    Conclusion: Rome, Massachusetts, and the Caroline Protestant imagination.

  • Author

    Reid Barbour, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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