The Poetics of Transubstantiation: From Theology to Metaphor, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Poetics of Transubstantiation

From Theology to Metaphor, 1st Edition

By Douglas Burnham

Edited by Enrico Giaccherini


200 pages

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Paperback: 9781138250918
pub: 2016-09-09
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Hardback: 9780754650263
pub: 2005-01-28
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pub: 2017-03-02
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The essays in this collection explore the concept of 'transubstantiation', its adaptations and transformations in English and European culture from the Elizabethans to the twentieth century. Favoring an interartistic and comparative perspective, a wide range of critical approaches, from the philosophical to the semiological, from cultural materialism to gender and queer studies, are brought to bear on authors ranging from Descartes, Shakespeare and Joyce, to Macpherson, Madox Ford, and Winterson, as well as on contemporary sculpture and an Italian adaptation of Conrad for the screen in an unusually comic vein. The volume, edited by Douglas Burnham of Staffordshire University and by Enrico Giaccherini of Pisa University, will be of interest to those concerned with the cultural history of Christianity and with the remarkable critical and theoretical insights generated by contemporary approaches to this traditional theme.


'… offers a fascinating discussion of some of the Greek influences on the idea including the distinction between transubstantiation and metamorphosis and the role of the riddle in Greek tragedy… The essays on the early modern period in this volume are all of a high quality of scholarship and argument.' Sixteenth Century Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword; The riddle of transubstantiation, Douglas Burnham; Real accidents, surfaces and digestions: Descartes and the 'very easily explained' transubstantiation, Tomaso Cavallo; The transubstantial bard: Shakespeare and Catholicism, Michael Davies; Transubstantiating the performance: towards a mimetic narrative in Hamlet's Hecuba scene, Silvia Bigliazzi; Transubstantiating love: John Donne and cultural criticism, Andy Mousley; A 'deformed' christianity: ethical transubstantiation in English Reformation plays, Nicoletta Caputo; From substantial body into evanescent ghost: the world of James Macpherson's Ossianic 'fragments', Laura Giovannelli; Shakespeare as Paraclitus: transubstantiation in Joyce and T.S. Eliot, Francesco Gozzi; Food for the soul: reading Mrs Ramsay's bœuf en daube, Catherine Burgass; Reformations: Ford Madox Ford and transubstantiation, Martin Stannard; Lost in translation: gender and the figure of the translator in contemporary queer fiction, Emma Parker; Conrad and Scola: transposing the Heart of Darkness into film, Mario Curreli; RSC 1999: enter guilt on the stage of conscience: The Family Reunion by T.S. Eliot, Carla Dente; Embodying the past: vocal transubstantiation in Erri De Luca's Tu, mio, Marina Spunta; Sculptural transubstantiations: reflections upon wax, flesh and stone, blood, bread and bone, Alison Yarrington; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Douglas Burnham is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Staffordshire University. He is the author of An Introduction to Kant's Critique of Judgement and Kant's Philosophies of Judgement, as well as essays on Shakespeare, Thomas Mann, and Kurt Vonnegut. Enrico Giaccherini is Professor of English at Pisa University. His publications include volumes on Chaucer, the romance, and the classical tradition in Middle English narrative. He has also edited and translated Middle English texts.

About the Series

Studies in European Cultural Transition

Studies in European Cultural Transition
The European dimension of research in the humanities has come into sharp focus over recent years, producing scholarship which ranges across disciplines and national boundaries. Until now there has been no major channel for such work. This series aims to provide one, and to unite the fields of cultural studies and traditional scholarship. It will publish the most exciting new writing in areas such as European history and literature, art history, archaeology, language and translation studies, political, cultural and gay studies, music, psychology, sociology and philosophy. The emphasis will be explicitly European and interdisciplinary, concentrating attention on the relativity of cultural perspectives, with a particular interest in issues of cultural transition.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature