This book considers how biblical women were read, appropriated and debated in a wide range of early modern texts. It traverses a range of genres and examines literature written by a variety of confessionally diverse writers. By considering literature intended for assorted audiences, the book showcases the diverse contexts in which the Bible's women were deployed, and illuminates the transferability of biblical appreciation across apparent religious divisions. The book has been split into two sections. Part One considers women and feminine archetypes of the Old Testament, and the chapters gathered in Part Two address the New Testament. This structure reflects the division of Scripture in early modern Bibles and speaks to the contemporary method of reading the Bible from the Old Testament to the New Testament. In spite of this division, the chapters regularly make cross references between the two Testaments highlighting how, in line with the conventions of early modern exegesis, they were understood to exist in a reciprocal relationship. Within each section, the chapters are broadly organised according to the sequential appearance of the women/feminine archetypes in the Bible. The biblical women studied extend from Eve in Genesis to the Whore of Babylon in Revelation. The chapters vary between those that examine dominant trends in appropriation to those that consider appropriations of a particular interest group or individual.
liturgical practices. The chapter concludes by demonstrating how these Bibles became the precursors of earlymodernBibles, not only in their wide dissemination and uniformity but also in the interest displayed in biblical origins and ancient languages.
A variety of biblical addenda
At the beginning of the thirteenth century Bibles were becoming pandects. Beyond portability and cost, this transformation revolutionised the way Bibles have been read ever since. Whereas the earlier, heavier, multi-volume Bibles were
Katherine Sutton’s Experiences (1663), the printer’s device and the making of devotion
Inconsistency as Ecological Ethos in an EarlyModernBible’, in Thomas Hallock, Ivo Kamps and Karen L. Raber (eds), Early Modern Ecostudies: From the Florentine Codex to Shakespeare (London: Routledge, 2008), pp. 145 – 66 (150). For the devotional writings of the academy at Little Gidding see chapter 1 .
This is not a direct quotation but rather a reworking of the twelfth line of Psalm 51 as it appears in the 1637
Discovering biblical women in early modern literary culture, 1550–1700
Victoria Brownlee and Laura Gallagher
Testament. This structure reflects the division of
Scripture in earlymodernBibles and speaks to the contemporary method
of reading the Bible from the Old Testament to the New. Nevertheless, in
spite of this division, the essays regularly make cross references
between the two Testaments highlighting how, in line with the
conventions of early modern exegesis, they were understood to exist in a
, gestures, and utterances, as well as in their use of biblical texts; in a similar vein the medieval textus , often an ancient Gospel book processed and venerated in Mass, linked the medieval rite with its past. The importance of the material culture of the Bible was not abandoned with the Reformation. Mass-production of Bibles in the sixteenth century placed them in parish churches, courtrooms, and private homes; it has transformed our understanding of the Bible and influenced researchers’ depictions of medieval sacred books. The physicality of these earlymodernBibles
The text of the treatise comprises a list of numbered responses to ‘reasons’, which correspond closely to sections of the printed version of Scot’s Discoverie. The text is provided together with excerpts from the relevant parts of the Discoverie for comparison, and is fully annotated. The author uses a variety of theological sources in addition to biblical quotations, including St Augustine, Calvin, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Cyprian, and Chrysostom. The treatise touches on a range of issues in relation to witchcraft, including the veracity and causes of witches’ confessions, the question of whether accused witches are mentally ill or not, whether witches are guilty of idolatry and apostasy, and the circumstances under which execution is justified. The author presents a thorough critique of Scot’s method, as well as his conclusions.