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Spenser and Shakespeare

Thirteen writers have comprehensively explained the Renaissance scheme of physiology-psychology used for nosce teipsum, to ‘know oneself’, and other scholars have analysed key features like humours, bodily spirits, passions, reason, inner wits, soul and spirit, mystic apprehension. Only poets with epic scope, like Spenser and Shakespeare, depict human nature holistically, yet these finest poets have radically distinct psychologies. Spenser’s Christianised Platonism prioritises the soul, his art mirroring divine Creation as dogmatically and encyclopedically conceived. He looks to the past, collating classical and medieval authorities in memory-devices like the figurative house, nobly ordered in triadic mystic numerical hierarchy to reform the ruins of time. Shakespeare’s sophisticated Aristoteleanism prioritises the body, highlighting physical processes and dynamic feelings of immediate experience, and subjecting them to intense, skeptical consciousness. He points to the future, using the witty ironies of popular stage productions to test and deconstruct prior authority, opening the unconscious to psychoanalysis. This polarity of psychologies is radical and profound, resembling the complementary theories of physics, structuring reality either (like Spenser) in the neatly-contained form of particle theory, or (like Shakespeare) in the rhythmic cycles of wave theory. How do we explain these distinct concepts, and how are they related? These poets’ contrary artistry appears in strikingly different versions of a ‘fairy queen’, of humour-based passions (notably the primal passion of self-love), of intellection (divergent modes of temptation and of moral resolution), of immortal soul and spirit, of holistic plot design, and of readiness for final judgment.

Laurence Lux-Sterritt

, Stoicism and Emotion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007) and Beàta Tòth, The Heart Has its Reasons. Towards a Theological Anthropology of the Heart (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2015). 2 Augustine Baker, in Benedict Weld-Blundell (ed.), Contemplative Prayer: Ven. Father Augustine Baker’s Teaching thereon from ‘Sancta Sophia’ (London: Washbourne, 1907), pp. 141–42. 3 Rule, p. 10. Jaime Goodrich, ‘Nuns and community-centered writing: the Benedictine Rule and Brussels Statutes’, Huntington Library Quarterly 77:3 (2014), 287–303. I am very grateful to Jaime

in English Benedictine nuns in exile in the seventeenth century
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Marilina Cesario and Hugh Magennis

: Whittaker, 1819). 16 ‘For it is the duty of good education to arrive at wisdom by means of a definite order; without order this is a matter of chance hardly to be relied upon […]’. Gilligan, Soliloquies, Soliloquy. I.xiii.23, p. 374. 17 De Trinitate , XII.xxii.16, cols 1400–1. 18 P. E. Hochschild, Memory in Augustine’s Theological Anthropology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 218. 19 S. Borruso (trans.), St. Augustine, On Order (South Bend, IN: St

in Aspects of knowledge
Cultures and geographies of imperialism in Germany, 1848–1918
Bernhard Gissibl

the missionaries’ abstinence of violence, their theological anthropology, their often mediating role in conflicts, and their organisational autonomy set them apart from political empire. 61 In the context of this discussion, the transnational and transcontinental networks established by Christian missionary societies are relevant for at least three reasons. First, the religious revival in Europe

in European empires and the people
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Final vistas of Spenser and Shakespeare
Robert Lanier Reid

’s immortal essence and relation to God. Spenser subsumes Plato’s and Aristotle’s views of human nature in a broad, essentialist scheme that is not just ‘ psychology ’ but ‘ theological anthropology ’. 91 After viewing Spenser’s first six virtues as an ordered descent into the material world, we can invert the pattern to find the missing six, completing the quest for the

in Renaissance psychologies
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Rhodri Hayward

governed their experiences in the revival. As one visitor to Penn-Lewis’s Leicester home reported, Roberts now believed that revivals operated according to ‘fixed and definite laws that should be understood and obeyed . . . So he delves into theology, anthropology and demonology and constructs therefrom, with prayer and plentiful meditation, a system of “Saving Theology”.’146 These researches reached their conclusion in 1912 with the publication of War on the Saints, a practical manual of demonology.147 Within this text, spirit invasion no longer appeared as an extra

in Resisting history
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Robert Lanier Reid

) his view of minimal rational control and minimal providential aid. A further difference in the two poets’ psychologies lies in the epistemological source of truth: Spenser’s reform of unruly passion draws from the doctrinal authority of written classics, especially the theological anthropology that views humankind as a likeness of God, while Shakespeare’s portrait of passion

in Renaissance psychologies
Robert Lanier Reid

Man, woman, child or servant: the problem of hierarchy in theological anthropology Eve was of Adam, and out of hym ydrawe, And Abel of hem bothe and all thre o kynde. (Langland, Piers Plowman

in Renaissance psychologies