Johnson, Jeffrey, The Theology ofJohn Donne (Studies in Renaissance Literature 1), Cambridge, D. S. Brewer, 1999; cloth; pp. xiii, 162; R R P £40, U S $ 7 5 ; I S B N 0859915441. While innumerable studies have been dedicated to John Donne the poet, Jeffr Johnson's book represents one of the few dedicated explorations of John D o n n e as a committed Renaissance theologian. While Donne's role as a poet is not discounted, Johnson's object of investigation here is primarily the Sermons. It is Johnson's position that, because the Sermons have not received the same quality or quantity of critical attention as the poems 'John D o n n e has not been treated seriously as a religious thinker' (p. ix). Johnson is speaking here primarily about twentieth-century treatment of Donne; a tradition initiated and encoded early in the century by T. S. Eliot, w h o identified Donne's religious writings as a refuge from a highly emotional temperament, rather than a serious theological enterprise. Recent studies of the Sermons have similarly undervalued Donne's theological importance by focussing almost entirely on the historical/political content and context of these works. Johnson too is interested in
Parergon – Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)
Published: Apr 3, 2001
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