Assessing early modern literature and England’s Long Reformation, this book challenges the notion that the English Reformation ended in the sixteenth century, or even by the seventeenth century.
Contributions by literary scholars and historians of religion put these two disciplines in critical conversation with each other, in order to examine a complex, messy, and long-drawn-out process of reformation that continued well beyond the significant political and religious upheavals of the sixteenth century. The aim of this conversation is to generate new perspectives on the constant remaking of the Reformation—or Reformations, as some scholars prefer to characterize the multiple religious upheavals and changes, both Catholic and Protestant—of the early modern period. This interdisciplinary book makes a major contribution to debates about the nature and length of England’s Long Reformation.
Early Modern Literature and England’s Long Reformation is essential reading for scholars and students considering the interconnections between literature and religion in the early modern period.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal Reformation.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Early Modern Literature and England’s Long Reformation
David Loewenstein and Alison Shell
1. Mirroring the "Long Reformation": Translating Erasmus’ Colloquies in Early Modern England
2. "Straunge and Prodigious Miracles"? John Foxe’s Reformation of Virgin Martyr Legends
Thomas S. Freeman and Susannah Brietz Monta
3. Astrology and Religion in the Long Reformation: "Doctor Faustus in Swadling Clouts"
4. "Superstition Remains at This Hour": The Friers Chronicle (1623) and England’s Long Reformation
5. Theology, Plain and Simple: Biblical Hermeneutics: Language Philosophy, and Trinitarianism in the Seventeenth Century
6. "Not Revenged, nor Repented of": Martyrs and England’s Long Reformation
7. Preaching the "Long Reformation" in the English Revolution
8. Milton and the Creation of England’s Long Reformation
9. Working, across the Very Long Reformation: Four Models
10. Sacrilege, Tractarian Fiction and the Very Long Reformation
David Loewenstein is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and the Humanities at Penn State–University Park, USA. He has published widely on Milton and on literature in relation to politics and religion in early modern England. He is an Honored Scholar of the Milton Society of America.
Alison Shell is Professor of Early Modern Studies in the Department of English at University College London, UK. She has published widely on the subject of literature and religion, with a particular emphasis on the literary culture of Catholics and Anglicans. Her most recent publication, co-edited with Judith Maltby, is Anglican Women Novelists (2019).