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.
, Stoicism and Emotion (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 2007) and Beàta Tòth, The Heart Has its
Reasons. Towards a TheologicalAnthropology 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
: 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 TheologicalAnthropology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 218.
19 S. Borruso (trans.), St. Augustine, On Order (South Bend, IN: St
Cultures and geographies of imperialism in Germany, 1848–1918
the missionaries’ abstinence of violence, their
theologicalanthropology, 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
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 ‘ theologicalanthropology ’. 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
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
) 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
theologicalanthropology that views humankind as a likeness of God,
while Shakespeare’s portrait of passion