I Shakespeare and Early Modern Religion contains contributions from both literary scholars and historians of religion as such, it is a cross-disciplinary volume that illuminates Shakespeare’s plays and the early modern religious beliefs that circulated in Shakespeare’s England. Most notably, this volume explores Shakespeare’s creative engagement with early modern religious culture, but it does so without assuming that Shakespeare can himself be aligned with any specific doctrinal beliefs, religious group, or confession. The chapters in this book thus eschew firm or reductive assertions about Shakespeare’s personal religious convictions. Instead, contributors focus on his imaginative recasting of different currents of early modern religious culture and beliefs in their great variety, an array of perspectives that was at once contradictory, competing, and deeply contested.Like the Cambridge University Press volume on Shakespeare and Early Modern Political Thought edited by David Armitage, Conal Condren, and Andrew Fitzmaurice, this book offers fresh interdisciplinary perspectives on a large topic that has generated much critical controversy. In doing so, it is likely to generate more discussion, since it does little to resolve the vexed question of Shakespeare’ s confessional position or positions. This volume is timely, however, because both literary scholars and historians of early modern religion contribute their particular insights into religious matters and debates in relation to Shakespeare’s plays. We have attempted, in bringing together historians of religion and literary critics, to engage both specialists and more general readers of Shakespeare, including student readers – anyone interested in tracing Shakespeare’s imaginative engagement with the variety of religious beliefs and practices that characterizes early modern English culture.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Arts and Humanities