Poetry does theology : Chaucer, Grosseteste, and the Pearl-Poet
- Jim Rhodes.
- Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press, c2001.
- Physical description
- xi, 324 p. ; 23 cm.
- Rhodes, James Francis, 1940-
- Includes bibliographical references (p. 249-314) and index.
What happens when poetry deals explicitly with a serious theological issue? In Poetry Does Theology, Jim Rhodes seeks one answer to that question by analyzing the symbiotic relationship that existed between theology and poetry in fourteenth-century England. He pays special attention to the narrative poems of Chaucer, Grosseteste, the Pearl-poet, the author of Saint Erkenwald, and Langland. Rhodes shows that Chaucer and his contemporaries wrote at the end of a linguistic and theological revolution - a time when revised perspectives on the creation and incarnation gave rise to a new humanistic spirit that transformed late medieval theological culture and spurred the development of vernacular theology and poetry. Rhodes' careful analysis describes how the relationship between theology and poetry underwent a radical transformation as the century progressed. What had previously been the exclusive prerogative of a Latinate and clerical elite became in the later Middle Ages a matter of concern within vernacular culture, particularly the emerging category of "literature." This newly defined and self-conscious literature provided not simply an arena in which theological questions could be raised; it also privileged a secular, humanist outlook that granted to earthly life its own legitimacy and dignity. In Poetry Does Theology, Rhodes argues that one of the distinctive qualities of modernity - its secular and this-worldly orientation - is a phenomenon that took root in England in the fourteenth century and found its primary site of development not in theological or philosophical circles, but in a vernacular literature that opened for inquiry the theological and philosophical questions that dominated the era.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
- Grosseteste, Robert, 1175?-1253 > Criticism and interpretation.
- Langland, William, 1330?-1400? Piers Plowman
- Chaucer, Geoffrey, -1400. Canterbury tales
- Patience (Middle English poem)
- Purity (Middle English poem)
- Pearl (Middle English poem)
- Christian poetry, English (Middle) > History and criticism.
- Theology in literature.
- English poetry > Middle English, 1100-1500 > History and criticism.
- Theology > History > Middle Ages, 600-1500.
- Publication date
- 0268038694 (alk. paper)
- 0268038708 (pbk. : alk. paper)
- 9780268038694 (alk. paper)
- 9780268038700 (pbk. : alk. paper)
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