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Grace Overwhelming: John Bunyan, "The Pilgrim?s Progress and the Extremes of the Baptist Mind (Religions and Discourse)

Anne Dunan-Page

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ISBN 10: 3039100556 / ISBN 13: 9783039100552
Published by Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften, 2006
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Grace Overwhelming: John Bunyan, "The ...

Publisher: Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften

Publication Date: 2006

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

Edition: 1.

About this title


Awarded the 2007 National Research Prize SAES/AEFA.
This study is a reappraisal of John Bunyan in the light of the dissenting religious culture of the late-seventeenth century. Charges of schism and fanaticism were repeatedly levelled against Bunyan, both from within the dissenting community and without, but far from being chastened by these accusations, Bunyan responded with a religious discourse marked by a rhetoric of excess. The focus of this book is therefore upon Bunyan’s overwhelming spiritual experiences, especially the representation of torment, in his literary and polemical works. The believers’ suffering was an obsessive concern of dissenting ministers, even to the point where their writings are often remembered today for little else. Hitherto, most scholars have termed all the mental states that they invoke ‘despair’, but this simplifies the experiences at issue. A wealth of contemporary material helps to restore the nuances of seventeenth-century physical and spiritual conditions, from enthusiasm to melancholy and madness; from fear to desertion and sloth. These chapters explore fresh ways in which this subtle typology of torment and its extreme manifestations form the core of the literary expression of Restoration dissent, challenging Bunyan to represent spiritual equilibrium as the ultimate quest of the earthly pilgrimage.

About the Author:

The Author: Anne Dunan-Page is University Lecturer in English at Montpellier University (France). She is a member of the Institut de Recherches sur la Renaissance, L’Age Classique et les Lumières (CNRS, UMR 5186) and serves on the editorial board of Cahiers Elisabéthains. She has written extensively on Restoration religious dissent and is senior editor of a database of French references in English early-modern drama. She has recently edited The Religious Culture of the Huguenots, 1660-1750 (2006) and is co-editing a volume of essays on the life and career of the Restoration journalist and Tory pamphleteer Roger L’Estrange.

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