This groundbreaking study demonstrates the profound influence of Ramon Lull (c. 1232-1316?) upon Donne. Albrecht traces Donne's ecumenical vision back to Lull, back to Pico della Mirandola, Lull's disciple, and back to the Jewish cabala, sources for both. She shows how Donne refashioned Lull's abstract version of Mary and, like Lull, used this "Mary" to include Muslims and Jews in the church universal. She shows how pseudo-Lullian alchemical theories allowed him to describe, with impunity, Mary's function in "theologial alchemy," a works-oriented theology that included the female principle in the Tetragrammaton - that name that cannot be spoken. Finally, she shows how Donne incorporated the corporeal images of medieval iconography into Lull's mnemotechnics in order to construct texts whereby God's attributes, perceived as a series of ever-changing combinations, reveal an ecumenical frame of mind far more advanced than hitherto supposed. This study will appeal to new historicists and those interested in alchemy, emblems, or theology. Roberta J. Albrecht is an independent scholar.
Publisher: Associated University Presses