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Theory and Theology in George Herbert's Poetry : Divinitie, and Poesie, Met - Elizabeth Clarke

Theory and Theology in George Herbert's Poetry

Divinitie, and Poesie, Met

Hardcover Published: 1st August 1997
ISBN: 9780198263982
Number Of Pages: 312

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In seventeenth-century England the poet George Herbert became known as `Divine Herbert', his poetry a model for those aspiring to the status of inspired Christian poet. This book explores the relationship between the poetry of George Herbert and the concept of divine inspiration rooted in devotional texts of the time. Clarke considers three very different treatises read and approved by Herbert: Savonarola's De Simplicitate Christianae Vitae, Juan de Valdes's The Hundred and Ten Considerations, and Francois de Sales's Introduction to the Devout Life. These authors all saw literary production as implicit in a theological argument about the workings of the Holy Spirit. Clarke goes on to offer a new reading of many of Herbert's poems, concluding that implanted in Herbert's poetry are many well-established codes which to a seventeenth-century readership signified divine inspiration.

`Richly academic book...Here we enter a world of contemporary linguistic scholarship, as befits an Oxford theological monograph.' Church Times `We have tended to see Herbert as a solitary writer ... this richly academic books sees him as a part of a European tradition of spirituality ... It sets Herbert on a wider stage ... Clarke fleshes out the intellectual Herbert, and helps us to see him with Renaissance eyes tinted with modern scholarship.' Church Times `the author is an acute and skillful reader of Herbert's poems; the book contains many fine, original interpretations that advance our understanding of the poetry ... this is a book of alert intelligence and subtle reading; it deserves to be studied by all readers of Herbert's poetry.' Louis L. Martz, Yale University, George Herbert Journal, Vol 21, no 1 & 2, Fall 97/ Spring 1998 `learned, sensitive, and often eloquent study ... The book contains an impressive, select bibliography of primary and secondary sources, a quick perusal of which suggests the considerable research behind this tightly argued study ... The study is meticulously footnoted and cross-referenced. This is a sophisticated, convincing, and important study, one that should be essential reading for any who wish to deepen their understanding of Herbert's poetry and who would hope to locate the poet within the richly syncretic Post-Reformation and Counter-Reformation theological discourse. Clarke has taken on the major Herbert critics - and will now herself be ranked among them.' William C. Johnson, Northern Illinois University, Sixteenth Century Journal, vol 30, no 2, 1999 `Most students of Herbert will be pleased by the light Clarke sheds on Herbert's poetic methods. She buils a strong argument for the importance of the reader in Herbert's poetic/theological position. The book... provides an original contirbution to the understanding of poetic method for Herbert and for Christian poetry in the seventeeth-century.' Douglas A. Northrop, Renaissance Quarterly

Acknowledgementsp. v
Introduction Poetry and Divine Motionp. 1
Herbert and Savonarola The Rhetoric of Radical Simplicityp. 27
An Introduction to the Devoute Life And the Temple: 'the Poetry of Meditation'Or 'Private Ejaculations'?p. 71
Ejaculations' and the Poetry of the Psalms Herbert's Role as Contemporary Psalmistp. 127
Reading Herbert Reading Vald├ęs Antinomian Disruption, the Hundred and Ten Considerations, and the Templep. 179
The Sanctification of Poetryp. 224
Conclusion Poetry, Signification, and Silencep. 268
Select Bibliographyp. 281
Index Of Poemsp. 293
General Indexp. 295
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198263982
ISBN-10: 0198263988
Series: Oxford Theological Monographs
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 312
Published: 1st August 1997
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97  x 2.06
Weight (kg): 0.48