Abstract

Abstract:

Understood within the context of the early modern religious meanings of libertinism and read within the framework of John Donne's other writings, his early libertine amatory poems have religious significance and an important place in Donne's lifelong concern with religion. His libertine poems defined problems of religious freedom—the difficulty of faith, skepticism about religious institutions and dogma, the search for true religion—that would trouble Donne throughout his life, even as his situation and the English church changed. The essay changes how we read these libertine poems. It also contributes to the ongoing debate about "Donne's religion," showing Donne's consistent preference for liberty and an expansive love, and a remarkable symmetry between the early libertine poetry and his later anti-Calvinist, theologically Arminian stance which emphasized free will, liberty, and God's expansive love.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0383
Print ISSN
0039-3738
Pages
pp. 561-590
Launched on MUSE
2017-07-14
Open Access
No
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