• Religion and Secularism Imagined: Early Modern Literature and Art

    Author(s):
    Andrew Stout (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Subject(s):
    Religion, Literature, English literature--Early modern, English poetry
    Item Type:
    Essay
    Tag(s):
    religion, literature, early modern english literature
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/e240-td58
    Abstract:
    The early modern period in England is rich in both literature and religious controversy. The age of Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton is also the age of the English Reformation, Civil War, Interregnum, and Restoration. This period in European history, with its Protestant/Catholic polemics and wars of religion, is commonly viewed as the occasion for the shedding of religious innocence and the emergence of secular maturity. If John Milbank’s bold claim is to be believed, “The secular as a domain had to be instituted or imagined, both in theory and in practice” (9). In other words, the secular is not a given, a baseline of culture that remains when the enchantment of religious belief dissipates. A cultural space devoid of religious content had to be actively created. The books reviewed in this essay demonstrate some of the ways that contemporary literary and historical scholarship understands the literature and art of early modern England and Europe to have helped create what came to be understood as “secular” culture.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 months ago
    License:
    Attribution

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