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Made Flesh

Sacrament and Poetics in Post-Reformation England

By Kimberly Johnson

Publication Year: 2014

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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p. vii

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Introduction. Eucharistic Poetics: The Word Made Flesh

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pp. 1-33

This is a book about how poems work, and about how the interpretive demands of sacramental worship inform the production of poetic texts. If it seems impolite for a book to declare its intentions so brashly in its first gesture, such insolence has nevertheless been made necessary by the publication of several critical texts that set out to investigate what they term the...

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Chapter 1. ‘‘The Bodie and the Letters Both’’: Textual Immanence in The Temple

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pp. 34-62

In order to understand the ways in which George Herbert’s elaborate experiments in poetic form are informed by the incarnational investments of sacramental worship, we must first consider the theological landscape in which Herbert produced The Temple. Though Herbert’s era had not fully resolved the controversies of the preceding century, Herbert himself...

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Chapter 2. Edward Taylor’s ‘‘Menstruous Cloth’’: Structure as Seal in the Preparatory Meditations

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pp. 63-88

George Herbert’s influence on the poetry of Edward Taylor is readily apparent, sufficient to prompt Louis Martz to remark that ‘‘Edward Taylor appears to have had a mind saturated with Herbert’s poetry.’’ Martz’s observation refers primarily to Taylor’s devotional subject, numbering among the ‘‘thousand tantalizing echoes of Herbert’’ resonances...

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Chapter 3. Embracing the Medium: Metaphor and Resistance in John Donne

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pp. 89-118

The practices that we have seen in the poems of George Herbert and Edward Taylor call attention to the way that poetic form and structure refuse to be sublimated into the transparency of semantic content. In the work of those poets, the material and substantial valences of the poetic text are themselves significant, objectively present and full of the substance of meaning in themselves. As the architectural...

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Chapter 4. Richard Crashaw’s Indigestible Poetics

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pp. 119-147

In his editorial headnote to Crashaw’s epigram on Luke 11, George Walton Williams notes mildly that ‘‘This little poem has provoked extravagant comment.’’1 Williams then goes on to catalogue examples of what he views as a troubling critical focus on the poem’s physicalized terminology, including Robert Adams’s infamous opinion that the epigram...

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Chapter 5. Immanent Textualities in a Postsacramental World

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pp. 148-165

The explicit stake of post-Reformation devotional poetry in the capacities of the word to produce a kind of immanent presence also registers in the contemporary literary culture more broadly. It is hardly surprising that Reformation-era theological anxieties about the sign, which undergird the interrogations of the materializing potentialities...


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pp. 167-201


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pp. 203-219


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pp. 221-233

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pp. 235-237

Given that this study is so concerned with the ways in which presence is made manifest in the world, I take special pleasure in acknowledging the many people who were so manifestly present to me over the long course of this book’s composition. From the earliest days, my work on the research that would eventually become this book...

E-ISBN-13: 9780812209402
E-ISBN-10: 0812209400
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812245882

Page Count: 248
Illustrations: 3 illus.
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 871191894
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Made Flesh

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Theology in literature.
  • Symbolism in literature.
  • Lord's Supper in literature.
  • Christianity and literature -- England -- History -- 17th century.
  • Christian poetry, English -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- History and criticism.
  • Transubstantiation in literature.
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