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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53817
Doc. No:TL23771
Call number:‭3188353‬
Main Entry:Holly Crawford Pickett
Title & Author:The drama of serial conversion in Renaissance EnglandHolly Crawford Pickett
College:University of California, Los Angeles
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:216
Abstract:In providing the first extensive study of Renaissance English converts (both historical and fictional) who changed their religious affiliations multiple times, my dissertation contributes to recent research into the traumatic aftershocks of the Reformation. Specifically, I argue that serial converts reveal the performative elements involved in religious conversion and that, moreover, the dramatic works written about those converts further expose the connection between the concepts of drama and religious change. Conversion-related plays point out the epistemological, psychological, political, and rhetorical problems that come with a change in religious affiliation. Converts themselves, moreover, often employed the techniques of the theater to cope with the various challenges of their unconventional religious paths. Drawing on a wide range of documents, including religious tracts, sermons, and plays, I demonstrate the important role that mutability and dissimulation play in early modern religious conversion. Chapter One exposes the curious prevalence of pirate and navigation references in many early modern English conversion narratives (poetic, dramatic, biographical, and polemical). By pairing selected religious tracts with early modern dramas about pirates, the chapter exposes an important similarity between the serial religious convert and the dramatic figure of the Islamic renegade. An ambiguity about whether they are heroic adventurers or reckless traitors surrounds both groups. The second chapter treats another type of moral ambiguity regarding the role of dissimulation in the recusant household of Elizabeth Cary and in the works of the serial convert William Chillingworth. The juxtaposition of Cary and Chillingworth reveals the debate about the centrality and morality of the association between play-acting and religious conversion. The final two chapters increasingly turn to the question of how Renaissance playwrights staged religious conversion for their audience members. In Dekker and Massinger's The Virgin Martyr, the theatricality of the play's staged conversions aligns them with salvation, while in Daborne's A Christian Turned Turk, parody and performativity are used to discount the experience of religious change. Whether onstage or off; serial conversion---this dissertation argues---makes visible the ways drama interpenetrates religious life.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Communication and the arts; Language, literature and linguistics; Drama; England; Religious conversion; Renaissance; Serial conversion; British and Irish literature; Theater; Religion; 0593:British and Irish literature; 0465:Theater; 0318:Religion
Added Entry:D. K. W. Shuger, Robert N.
Added Entry:University of California, Los Angeles