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Prayer, Despair, and Drama explores the godly sorrow and pious disease, or lack of ease, of Elizabethan Calvinists and finds that what some have characterized as an evangelism of fear functioned more as a kind of religious therapy.
In this major contribution to discussions of the relationship between religion and literature in Elizabethan England, Peter Iver Kaufman argues that the soul-searching and self-scourging typical of late Tudor Calvinism was reflected in the rhetoric of self-loathing then prevalent in sermons, sonnets, and soliloquys. Kaufman shows how this spiritual psychology informs major literary texts including Hamlet, The Fairie Queene, Donne's Holy Sonnets, and other works.
University of illinois Press
Spirituality, Church of England, Calvinism, England, English history, 16th century
Jepson School of Leadership Studies
Kaufman, Peter Iver. Prayer, Despair, and Drama: Elizabethan Introspection. Chicago: University of Illinois Press,1996.