Miton and Early Modern Devotional Culture analyses the representation of public and private prayer in John Milton’s poetry and prose, paying particular attention to the ways seventeenth-century prayer is imagined as embodied in sounds, gestures, postures, and emotional responses. Naya Tsentourou demonstrates Milton’s profound engagement with prayer, and how this is driven by a consistent and ardent effort to experience one’s address to God as inclusive of body and spirit and as loaded with affective potential. The book aims to become the first interdisciplinary study to show how Milton participates in and challenges early modern debates about authentic and insincere worship in public, set and spontaneous prayers in private, and gesture and voice in devotion.
Chapter 1: Dressing the devotional body
Chapter 2: ‘Stale and empty words’: Consuming prayers in Eikonoklastes
Chapter 3: Hymns, sighs, and the physicality of prayer in Paradise Lost
Chapter 4: Iconoclastic prayer in Samson Agonistes
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