Literal Figures: Puritan Allegory and the Reformation Crisis in Representation

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9780226497853: Literal Figures: Puritan Allegory and the Reformation Crisis in Representation
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Literal Figures is the most important work on John Bunyan to appear in many years, and a significant contribution to the history and theory of representation. Beginning with mainstream Puritan responses to a challenge to orthodoxy—a man who claims he has been literally transformed into Christ and his companion who claims to be the "Spouse of Christ"—and concluding with an analysis of The Pilgrim's Progress, which John Bunyan described as a "fall into Allegory," Thomas Luxon presents detailed analyses of key moments in the Reformation crisis of representation.

Why did Puritan Christianity repeatedly turn to allegorical forms of representation in spite of its own intolerance of "Allegorical fancies?" Luxon demonstrates that Protestant doctrine itself was a kind of allegory in hiding, one that enabled Puritans to forge a figural view of reality while championing the "literal" and the "historical". He argues that for Puritanism to survive its own literalistic, anti-symbolic, and millenarian challenges, a "fall" back into allegory was inevitable. Representative of this "fall," The Pilgrim's Progress marks the culminating moment at which the Reformation's war against allegory turns upon itself. An essential work for understanding both the history and theory of representation and the work of John Bunyan, Literal Figures skillfully blends historical and critical methods to describe the most important features of early modern Protestant and Puritan culture.

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About the Author:

Thomas H. Luxon, associate professor of English at Dartmouth College, also teaches in Dartmouth's women's studies and comparative literature programs.

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1995. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A work on John Bunyan which explores the history and theory of representation inherent in his texts. Beginning with mainstream Puritan responses to a challenge to orthodoxy, the text concludes with an analysis of The Pilgrim s Progress , which John Bunyan described as a fall into Allegory . Thomas Luxon presents an analysis of key moments in the Reformation crisis of representation. Luxon demonstrates that the Protestant doctrine itself was a kind of allegory in hiding, one that enabled Puritans to forge a figural view of reality while championing the literal and the historical . He argues that for Puritanism to survive its own literalistic, anti-symbolic and millenarian challenges, a fall back into allegory was inevitable. A work which should aid understanding of both the history and theory of representation and the work of John Bunyan, the text blends historical and critical methods to describe the features of early modern Protestant and Puritan culture. Seller Inventory # BTE9780226497853

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