Formal experimentation and the question of Donne’s ecumenicalism
in Forms of faith
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John Donne's complex religious identity has long been a challenge to literary scholars. The question of Donne's ecumenicalism may reasonably prompt us to search Donne's oeuvre for statements that address the question explicitly. Even focusing specifically on Eucharistic theology, one finds several strongly ecumenical statements in Donne's sermons. Catholics and Protestants agreed that the Eucharist was a sign but differed radically over exactly how it signified; Protestants also disagreed with one another. As a result, continental and English tractarians produced a large body of polemic articulating a range of semiotic approaches to the sacrament. The model of exhibition becomes more prominent in the English Protestant Eucharistic tracts beginning in the 1550s. The substantial body of work on Donne as a coterie poet tells us that seemingly audacious features of his verse must be read in the context of socially situated production and circulation.

Forms of faith

Literary form and religious conflict in early modern England

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