Salman Rushdie is one of the world's most important writers of politicised fiction. He is a self-proclaimed controversialist, capable of exciting radically divergent viewpoints; a novelist of extraordinary imaginative range and power; and an erudite, and often fearless, commentator upon the state of global politics today. This critical study examines the intellectual, biographical, literary and cultural contexts from which Rushdie's fiction springs, in order to help the reader make sense of the often complex debates that surround the life and work of this major contemporary figure. It also offers detailed critical readings of all Rushdie's novels, from Grimus through to Shalimar the Clown.
Daniel Featley, anti-Catholic controversialist abroad
Chaplains to embassies: Daniel Featley,
anti-Catholic controversialist abroad
t midday on 4 September 1612, a dozen or so men, English and French,
assembled at the private residence in Paris of one Mr Knevet, an English
gentleman abroad. The purpose of the meeting was religious disputation; the
topic, the Roman Catholic doctrine of the real presence. For the next seven
hours, arguments for and against the central question – ‘Whether the body of
Christ were truly and substantially in the Sacrament, vnder the formes of bread and
This book aims both to shed light on the complex legal and procedural basis for early modern chaplaincy and to expand the understanding of what chaplains, in practice, actually did. Each chapter in the book treats in a different way the central question of how interactions in literature, patronage and religion made forms of cultural agency are available to early modern chaplains, primarily in England. The numerous case studies discussed in the book include instances of both the public and the more private aspects of chaplaincy. The book first focuses on the responsibility of the bishop of London's chaplains for pre-publication censorship of the press. It then examines the part played by ambassadorial chaplains such as Daniel Featley within wider networks of international diplomacy, interconfessional rivalry and print polemic. Patronage was evidently the key to determining the roles, activities and significance of early modern chaplains. Unsurprisingly, patrons often chose chaplains whose interests and priorities, whether theological or secular, were similar or complementary to their own. Episcopal chaplains had a politically significant role in keeping lay patrons loyal to the Church of England during the interregnum. Alongside patronage and religion, the book also considers the diverse array of literary activities undertaken by early modern chaplains.
John Wyclif (d. 1384) was among the leading schoolmen of fourteenth-century Europe. He was an outspoken controversialist and critic of the church, and, in his last days at Oxford, the author of the greatest heresy that England had known. This volume offers translations of a representative selection of his Latin writings on theology, the church and the Christian life. It offers a comprehensive view of the life of this charismatic but irascible medieval theologian, and of the development of the most prominent dissenting mind in pre-Reformation England. This collection will be of interest to undergraduate and graduate students of medieval history, historical theology and religious heresy, as well as scholars in the field.
This book investigates the ways in which the crusades have been observed by historians from the 1090s to the present day. Especial emphasis is placed on the academic after-life of the crusades from the sixteenth to twenty-first centuries. The use of the crusade and its history, by humanists and other contemporary writers, occupied a world of polemic, serving parochial religious, cultural and political functions. Since the Renaissance humanists and Reformation controversialists, one attraction of the crusades had lain in their scope: recruited from all western nations, motivated by apparently transcendent belief systems and fought across three continents. From the perspective of western Europe's engagement with the rest of the globe from the sixteenth century, the crusades provided the only post-classical example to hand of an ideological and military world war. Remarkably, the patterns of analysis of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century have scarcely gone away: empathy; disapproval; relevance; the role of religion; materialist reductionism. Despite the explosion of literary attention, behind the empathetic romanticism of Michaud or the criticism of Mills and Scott, the themes identified by Thomas Fuller, Claude Fleury, David Hume, Edward Gibbon and William Robertson persisted. The idea of the crusades as explicit precursors to modern events, either as features of teleological historical progress or as parallels to modern actions remains potent. The combination of ideology, action, change, European conquest and religious fanaticism acted as a contrast or a comparison with the tone of revolutionary and reactionary politics.
Although he had not yet been canonized, Thomas More’s sanctity was recognised throughout the English Catholic community and beyond from the late sixteenth century. It was also acknowledged by many significant Protestant writers and, in the decades leading up to the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1829, his life and the history of the English Reformation became a source of controversy not only between Catholics and Protestants but within Protestant historical writing itself. This chapter examines the ways in which More’s life and character were treated by two contrasting controversialists, the by now conservative Robert Southey and the radical William Cobbett. Each referred to More as a saint, but they drew diametrically opposed lessons from his life. Southey used him to bolster the Church-State compact in his dialogues on the condition of England, Thomas More, while for Cobbett the chief lesson to be drawn from the martyrdom of More and Fisher, ‘two of the best men of their generation’, was the need to grant freedom of worship to their latter-day co-religionists. This chapter reveals how More’s exemplary life transcended denominational boundaries, but how it was also politicised in order to address contemporary debates over emancipation and constitutional reform.
Nationalism has reasserted itself today as the political force of our times, remaking European politics wherever one looks. Britain is no exception, and in the midst of Brexit, it has even become a vanguard of nationalism's confident return to the mainstream. Brexit, in the course of generating a historically unique standard of sociopolitical uncertainty and constitutional intrigue, tore apart the two-party compact that had defined the parameters of political contestation for much of twentieth-century Britain. This book offers a wide-ranging picture of the different theoretical accounts relevant to addressing nationalism. It briefly repudiates the increasingly common attempts to read contemporary politics through the lens of populism. The book explores the assertion of 'muscular liberalism' and civic nationalism. It examines more traditional, conservative appeals to racialised notions of blood, territory, purity and tradition as a means of reclaiming the nation. The book also examines how neoliberalism, through its recourse to discourses of meritocracy, entrepreneurial self and individual will, alongside its exaltation of a 'points-system' approach to the ills of immigration, engineers its own unique rendition of the nationalist crisis. There are a number of important themes through which the process of liberal nationalism can be documented - what Arun Kundnani captured, simply and concisely, as the entrenchment of 'values racism'. These include the 'faux-feminist' demonisation of Muslims.
sister of the illustrious Sir Thomas More. Elizabeth More married a friend
and fanatical follower of the great Chancellor, John Rastell […] This man,
John Rastell (or Rastall) the elder, was an impetuous controversialist, and
like his more eminent grandson by marriage, John Heywood, took an interest
in the infancy of the drama’ (Gosse 1: 5). See also Bald 22, 47; Koppenfels
141–2. Harris points to Donne’s friendship with Ben Jonson in this context
House had become the focus of the second phase of the sectarian riots of 1857, when Catholic crowds gathered to protest against a planned series of sermons by Protestant controversialists, only to be confronted by shipyard workers and others assembled to defend their preachers. 5 The new Custom House Square, by contrast, did not become the site of significant sectarian confrontations. The most likely explanation was geographical: the square, however attractive as a venue, was too far from the strongholds of the Pound and Falls, and too close to the workplace of the
and should strive to improve themselves, intellectually and morally. One of the reasons to defend free speech is to test our existing beliefs and ways of thinking, and to adapt our world view and actions in the face of better arguments and evidence. Here too, it’s far from obvious that contrarian controversialists who just want to be allowed to say stereotypical things about Muslim women are interested in personal betterment, for themselves or others. This is not to say that we should ban such speech. Instead, we should query whether those insisting on the right to