Soteriology in Edmund Spenser's \(The\) \(Faerie\) \(Queene\)

Hart, Stuart Anthony (2018). Soteriology in Edmund Spenser's \(The\) \(Faerie\) \(Queene\). University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The thesis demonstrates the extent to which the sixteenth-century allegorical epic poem, The Faerie Queene, engages with early modern theories of salvation. Much has been written about Spenser’s consideration of theological ideas in Book I and this has prompted scholars to speculate about the poet’s own doctrinal inclinations. However, little has been written about the ways in which the remaining books in the poem also explore Christian ideas of atonement, grace and damnation. This study advances Spenserian scholarship by stressing the soteriological dimension of books II, III, IV and VI. It considers how the poem’s doctrinal ambiguity would have meant that Spenser’s readers would have been able to interpret the poem in terms of the different schools of thought on the conditionality, or otherwise, of election and reprobation. As the thesis suggests, these particular books were alive to the doctrinal disagreements of the period, and explore the complex theological positions and divisions that existed at the time. By shedding light on the religious tenor of these remaining books, the study has implications for our sense of how the poem would have prompted sixteenth century
readers to reflect on the means of their own salvation.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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