[Review] Elizabeth Clarke, Theory and Theology in George Herbert’s Poetry: “Divinitie and Poesie, Met.”

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christopher T. Hodgkins, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Since the publication a generation ago of Joseph H. Summers' George Herbert, His Religion and Art (1954), the essential lineaments of Herbert's Protestant faith have been clear, and since Barbara K. Lewalski's Protestant Poetics and the Seventeenth-Century Religious Lyric (1979)a growing consensus has emerged about the existence of an authentic Reformation poetic tradition and about Herbert as its master. Richard Strier in Love Known: Theology and Experience in George Herberts Poetry (1983), Gene Edward Veith in Reformation Spirituality: The Religion of George Herbert (1985), the present writer in Authority, Church, and Society in George Herbert: Return to the Middle Way (1993) and Daniel W. Doerksen in Conforming to the Word: Herbert, Donne, and th English Church before Laud (1997) have all in varying ways complicated or erased the supposedly bright line between "Anglican" and "Puritan" in early Stuart religion, discovering the Lutheran-Calvinist common ground where conformists and nonconformists often met. These critics have, in turn, gone far to explain how a reputedly antiaesthetic Protestant biblicism could produce some ofthe most indestructibly beautiful poems in the language. While some dissenting "anti-Calvinist" voices remain, most particularly those of Stanley Stewart and John Wall, most new studies of Herbert now seem to assume an essentially Calvinist theology for the poet.

Additional Information

Christianity and Literature 48(3): 371-74.
Language: English
Date: 1999
Book review, Theology, George Herbert, 17th century English poetry

Email this document to