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Description - Moral Identity in Early Modern English Literature by Paul Cefalu

Paul Cefalu's study explores the relationship between moral character and religious conversion in the poetry and prose of Sidney, Spenser, Donne, Herbert, and Milton, as well as in early modern English Conformist and Puritan sermons, theological tracts, and philosophical treatises. Cefalu argues that early modern Protestant theologians were often unable to incorporate a coherent theory of practical morality into the order of salvation. Cefalu draws on new historicist theories of ideology and subversion, but takes issue with the new historicist tendency to conflate generic and categorical distinctions among texts. He argues that imaginative literature, by virtue of its tendency to place characters in approximately real ethical quandaries, uniquely points out the inability of early modern English Protestant theology to merge religious theory and ethical practice. This study should appeal not only to literary critics and historians, but also to scholars interested in the history of moral theory.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521838078
ISBN-10: 052183807X
Format: Hardback
(228mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Pages: 236
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 18-Nov-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Paul Cefalu

Paul Cefalu is Assistant Professor of English at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania.