Renaissance Cultures of Interpretation
Hardback, 288 pages
Jul 2011, In Stock
Price: $110.00 (06)
The poet and preacher John Donne (1572-1631) was one of the most influential authors of early modern England. Donne's Augustine examines his response to an iconic figure in the history of Western religious thought: Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430). Katrin Ettenhuber argues that Renaissance culture saw not only a revival of the classics, but was equally indebted to the intellectual and literary legacy of the Church Fathers. The study recovers an Augustinian tradition of interpretation which permeated the religious world of the period, but which has until now been largely overlooked. She presents a comprehensive re-evaluation of Donne's writings, ranging from the poems to less familiar prose works, situates him carefully in the poetic, intellectual, and political contexts which frame his works, and engages with recent developments in both literary and historical studies.
Donne's Augustine is the first sustained study of Donne's reading practices, and of the theological sources which shaped his thought. It discovers a range of medieval and early modern texts which transformed the imagination of literary writers in the period but which have been neglected so far: devotional manuals, Scripture commentaries, and religious commonplace books (often in Latin). The study pays close attention to the intellectual and political conditions which informed the reception of Augustine's works, and offers detailed readings of Donne's texts which illuminate the literary aspects of his patristic heritage. Donne's Augustine makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the larger reading and writing culture of Renaissance England, and of the religious debates and controversies in the decades leading up to the Civil War.
First sustained examination of John Donne's reading habits
Establishes the importance of patristic heritage to the literary culture of early modern England
Reveals a number of neglected literary sources, such as Scripture commentaries and devotional handbooks
About the Author(s)
Katrin Ettenhuber is a Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and Newton Trust Lecturer in the Faculty of English. Prior to this, she held an A.H. Lloyd Junior Research Fellowship at Christ's College, Cambridge; she is also a former Holderlin scholar of the German National Academic Foundation. She is the editor of volume 5 of the Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne (OUP, forthcoming) and co-editor, with Gavin Alexander and Sylvia Adamson, of Renaissance Figures of Speech (Cambridge, 2007). She has published a number of articles on Donne's sermons, Renaissance patristics, early modern rhetoric, and seventeenth-century manuscript culture.
Table of Contents
1. How Donne Read Augustine
2. Augustinian Case Studies
3. 'Ascending Humility': Augustinian Hermeneutics in the Essayes in Divinity
4. The Bad Physician: Casuistry and Augustinian Charity in Biathanatos
5. 'Medicinall Concoctions': Equity and Charity in the Lincoln's Inn Sermons
6. 'Keeping the Peace': Donne, Augustine, and the Crisis of 1629
7. 'The evidence of things not seen': Donne, Augustine, and the Beatific Vision