Eucharist and the Poetic Imagination in Early Modern England
The Reformation changed forever how the sacrament of the Eucharist was understood. This study of six canonical early modern lyric poets traces the literary afterlife of what was one of the greatest doctrinal shifts in English history. Sophie Read argues that the move from a literal to a figurative understanding of the phrase 'this is my body' exerted a powerful imaginative pull on successive generations. To illustrate this, she examines in detail the work of Southwell, Donne, Herbert, Crashaw, Vaughan and Milton, who between them represent a broad range of doctrinal and confessional positions, from the Jesuit Southwell to Milton's heterodox Puritanism. Individually, each chapter examines how Eucharistic ideas are expressed through a particular rhetorical trope; together, they illuminate the continued importance of the Eucharist's transformation well into the seventeenth century - not simply as a matter of doctrine, but as a rhetorical and poetic mode.
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Anglican belief blood bloud body Book of Common bread Brian Cummings Catholic Christ Christ’s presence church Clarendon Press Common Prayer communion conﬂict contemporary Cranmer Crashaw critical death describes devotional difﬁculty divine doctrine Donne’s Early Modern efﬁcacy England English expression faith ﬁgurative ﬁgure ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬂesh George Herbert God’s grace heart Henry Vaughan identiﬁed imaginative implications incarnation inﬂuence inﬂuential interpretation john Donne language lines literal literary liturgy London Luther’s lyric martyrdom meaning metanoia metaphor metonymy Milton notion Oxford Paradise Lost paradox poem poet poet’s poetic poetry polemical political Prayer Book priest Protestant Puritan Raphael reading real presence recusant reﬂects reﬂexive turn reformed Renaissance rhetorical Richard Crashaw Robert Southwell sacramental sacriﬁce Scripture sense Sermons signiﬁcant Silex soule Southwell’s speciﬁcally spiritual substance symbolic synecdoche taste Temple thee thing Thomas Cranmer thou thought transubstantiation trope understanding University Press verse words words of institution worship writes