Becoming Christian: Race, Reformation, and Early Modern English Romance (BOK)

Dennis Austin Britton

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Becoming Christian argues that early modern English engagements with romance's infidel conversion motif - in which Jews and Muslims convert to Christianity - register theological formations of race in post-Reformation England. The infidel conversion motif originated in chanson de gest, and it has a long and continuous history in romances written by Roman Catholic writers in medieval and early modern Europe. The motif comes under scrutiny in England, however, as Protestant theology radically reconfigured how individuals acquire religious identities. Whereas Roman Catholicism asserted that Christian identity begins with baptism, numerous theologians in the Church of England denied the absolute necessity of baptism and asserted instead that Christian identity was a kind of racial characteristic passed from parents to their children. Concepts of racial difference thus emerged in the Church of England's theology in order to help resolve doctrinal controversies about baptism, and in the process, the Church of England developed a theology that both transformed a nation into a Christian race and created skepticism about the possibility of religious conversion. In early modern England, race became a matter of salvation and damnation. Britton intervenes in critical debates about the intersections of racial and religious identities, and shows that Reformation theology contains a deep repository of race thinking. Examining English translations of John Calvin's writings, polemical writings, treaties on the sacraments, catechisms, and sermons alongside works by Edmund Spenser, John Harrington, William Shakespeare, John Fletcher, and Phillip Massinger, Becoming Christian demonstrates how a theology of race altered a nation's imagination and literary landscape.


Språk Engelsk Engelsk Innbinding Innbundet
Utgitt 2014 Forfatter Dennis Austin Britton
Marston Book DMARSTO Orphans
ISBN 9780823257140
Antall sider 272 Dimensjoner 15,7cm x 23,9cm x 2,3cm
Vekt 499 gram Leverandør Bertram Trading Ltd
Emner og form Religion: general, Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800