Treacherous Faith: The Specter of Heresy in Early Modern by David Loewenstein

By David Loewenstein

Treacherous Faith deals a brand new and bold cross-disciplinary account of the methods writers from the early English Reformation to the recovery generated, sustained, or puzzled cultural anxieties approximately heresy and heretics. This e-book examines the darkish, usually brutal tale of defining, developing, and punishing heretics in early sleek England, and particularly the methods writers themselves contributed to or interrogated the politics of non secular fear-mongering and demonizing. It illuminates the terrors and anxieties early smooth writers articulated and the fantasies they developed approximately pernicious heretics and pestilent heresies in accordance with the Reformation's shattering of Western Christendom. Treacherous Faith analyzes early glossy writers who contributed to cultural fears in regards to the contagion of heresy and engaged within the making of heretics, in addition to writers who challenged the buildings of heretics and the tradition of non secular fear-mongering.

The responses of early glossy writers in English to the threat of heresy and the making of heretics have been assorted, complicated, and contradictory, reckoning on their spiritual and political alignments. a few writers (for instance, Thomas extra, Richard Bancroft, and Thomas Edwards) used their rhetorical resourcefulness and inventiveness to give a contribution to the politics of heresy-making and the threat of crafty, diabolical heretics ravaging the Church, the country, and hundreds of thousands of souls; others (for instance, John Foxe) wondered inside of convinced cultural boundaries heresy-making techniques and the violence and savagery that non secular demonizing provoked; and a few writers (for instance, Anne Askew, John Milton, and William Walwyn) interrogated with nice bold and inventiveness the politics of spiritual demonizing, heresy-making, and the cultural buildings of heretics. Treacherous Faith examines the complexities and paradoxes of the heresy-making mind's eye in early smooth England: the darkish fantasies, anxieties, terrors, and violence it was once able to producing, but in addition the methods the feared specter of heresy might stimulate the literary creativity of early sleek authors enticing with it from various non secular and political views.

Treacherous Faith is an enormous interdisciplinary examine of the methods the literary mind's eye, non secular fears, and demonizing interacted within the early smooth global. This learn of the early glossy specter of heresy contributes to paintings within the humanities looking to light up the altering dynamics of spiritual worry, the rhetoric of non secular demonization, and the strong methods the literary mind's eye represents and constructs non secular distinction.

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Extra resources for Treacherous Faith: The Specter of Heresy in Early Modern English Literature and Culture

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My aim in this chapter, however, differs from scholars who have elucidated specific heresies in the poem. Instead, I argue that the heretical dimensions of the epic are crucial to its polemical character during the Restoration and that the poem continues to engage in imaginative ways with early modern debates over the nature of heresy, blasphemy, and schism, as well as toleration. Indeed, in this chapter I juxtapose Milton’s great poem not only with numerous anti-heretical writings from the revolutionary decades and from the Restoration, but with Milton’s last major pamphlet—Of True Religion, Haeresie, Schism, and Toleration (1673)—since both works are engaged in their own different ways in rethinking the meanings of heresy and schism in the context of heated debates about toleration.

55 And with so much religious dissention and disunity came intolerance—intolerance expressed both by the orthodox godly and by diverse religious groups which had split off from mainstream Protestantism. I contribute here to scholarship about the often interconnected and dialectical relations between tolerance and intolerance,56 but I do so as a literary scholar who aims to illuminate these issues by examining in detail the language, rhetoric, and potent images exploited by a variety of early modern English writers, including those who demonized heretics and those who challenged the very notion of heresy itself.

Introduction 19 Paradise Lost is particularly original in drawing creatively upon and revising cultural constructions of heretics. 770), and of course theatricalism. By giving Satan the qualities regularly associated by orthodox heresy-makers (discussed in Chapters 5, 6, and 7) with subversive and cunning heretics, Milton remains engaged in the war over heresy, blasphemy, and schism that had divided and unsettled the religious world of his England and continued to do so during the years of religious conflict in the Restoration.

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