Book Reviews celebrate promiscuity have a secondary, heretofore unknown interpretation that in fact condemns promiscuity and embraces (theological) fidelity. The feats of interpretive creativity to make such readings possible were, for this reader, too ingenious and not sufficiently compelling. The short section on George Herbert, on the other hand, takes no such risks. For readers who specialize in early modern poetry, Schwartz's analysis of Herbert is fairly pedestrian. Nonetheless, her readings of particular Herbert poems are consistently engaging, if not revelatory, and Herbert's poems provide a nearly perfect conclusion to Schwartz's investigation of poetic treatment of the Eucharist. Of the poets dealt with here, it is Herbert who most clearly achieves an attention to poetic form that engages with sacrifice and with the possibility--or impossibility--of communion with God, a truly sacramental poetics. What Schwartz achieves in Sacramental Poetics is a union of historical and literary criticism, a fusion of a theologically informed historical approach and an aesthetic approach to texts that employs close readings to advance its argument. The result is a smart, dynamic engagement with cultural manifestations of the Reformation that crosses disciplinary boundaries and resonates powerfully with those interested in current conflicts and interactions between the
Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Dec 2, 2010
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