John Donne and religious authority in the reformed English church
Mark S. Sweetnam
John Donne has never seemed a simple figure. For his contemporaries, the poet and preacher, the courtier-turned-convert-turned-celebrity churchman defied definition and strained the bounds of decorous conventionality. In the centuries since his death, much of Donne’s thought has remained enigmatic. While recent scholarship has done much to elucidate the political and social contexts of his work, the theological concerns of Donne’s writing have remained little examined or understood. This book offers a new and important perspective on his work and thought. It progresses the existing state of scholarship by focusing on the importance of theological conviction in Donne’s thought. It addresses the range of his work – poetry and prose, the sermons and the polemical and controversial works. This results in a new understanding of Donne and his relationship to the religious and political debates of the period.
Mark S. Sweetnam is a teaching fellow in the School of English at Trinity College Dublin. His research interests focus on literature and theology, especially the formation of religious identity in the reformation. His recent publications include an edition of The minutes of the Antrim ministers' meetings, 1654–8 (2012) and, as co-editor with Helen Cooney, Enigma and revelation in Renaissance English literature (2012).