Islamic Conversion and Christian Resistance on the Early Modern Stage (Paperback)
  • Islamic Conversion and Christian Resistance on the Early Modern Stage (Paperback)
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Islamic Conversion and Christian Resistance on the Early Modern Stage (Paperback)

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£24.99
Paperback 272 Pages / Published: 30/05/2015
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This book explores the threat of Christian conversion to Islam in twelve early modern English plays. This book explores the threat of Christian conversion to Islam in 12 early modern English plays. In works by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Massinger, and others, conversion from Christianity to Islam is represented as both tragic and erotic, as a fate worse than death and as a sexual seduction. Degenhardt examines the stage's treatment of this intercourse of faiths to reveal connections between sexuality, race, and confessional identity in early modern English drama and culture. In addition, she shows how England's encounter with Islam reanimated post Reformation debates about the embodiment of Christian faith. As Degenhardt compellingly demonstrates, the erotics of conversion added fuel to the fires of controversies over Pauline universalism, Christian martyrdom, the efficacy of relics and rituals, and even the Knights of Malta.

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 9781474402378
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 476 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

This is a strong, exciting, and original book. Degenhardt draws deeply on contemporary sermons, ecclesiastical debates, news pamphlets, and travel literature alongside a wide range of plays in order to give a complex and lively picture of the cultures of controversy in Renaissance England. --Julia Reinhard Lupton, Professor of English, The University of California, Irvine


Incisively arguing that conversion to Islam brought to a crisis English ambivalence about the Protestant emphasis on disembodiment and immateriality in religious life, this book brilliantly explores how "turning Turk" was simultaneously understood in religious, sexual, and proto-racial terms in the early modern period. Elegantly written and vividly illustrated, Degenhardt's book links early modern and medieval conversion narratives with canonical and less canonical plays to provide a strikingly original account of why Islamic conversion was so important to early modern thought and why the stage was such a rich site for its exploration. --Jean E. Howard, George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University




Degenhardt anatomizes English anxieties and defenses with consummate skill. Her analysis of the 'imaginative process whereby religious identities became fused with national, embodied, and proto-racial categories' is brilliant. -- Richmond Barbour, Renaissance Quarterly


Degenhardt's book provides a richly evocative and nuanced way of looking at emergent racial categories, apostasy, and the human body. It brilliantly achieves its primary objective of establishing the continued influence of Catholicism in post-Reformation staging of an embodied Christian response to Islam. The impressive list of plays examined and carefully articulated arguments make it a remarkable piece of scholarship, yet it also manages to remain accessible to a general audience interested in learning more about Anglo-Islamic relations in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. -- Amrita Sen, Shakespeare Quarterly


Incisively arguing that conversion to Islam brought to a crisis English ambivalence about the Protestant emphasis on disembodiment and immateriality in religious life, this book brilliantly explores how "turning Turk" was simultaneously understood in religious, sexual, and proto-racial terms in the early modern period. Elegantly written and vividly illustrated, Degenhardt's book links early modern and medieval conversion narratives with canonical and less canonical plays to provide a strikingly original account of why Islamic conversion was so important to early modern thought and why the stage was such a rich site for its exploration. --Jean E. Howard, George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University


This is a strong, exciting, and original book. Degenhardt draws deeply on contemporary sermons, ecclesiastical debates, news pamphlets, and travel literature alongside a wide range of plays in order to give a complex and lively picture of the cultures of controversy in Renaissance England. --Julia Reinhard Lupton, Professor of English, The University of California, Irvine


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