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Religious Conversion in Early Modern English Drama


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Table of Contents

Part I. Spiritual Conversion: 1. 'Be by me converted': medieval and reformation drama; 2. 'The whole summe of Christianitie': spiritual conversion in protestant sermons; 3. ''Twas I but 'tis not I': dramatic transformations of spiritual conversion; Part II. Interfaith Conversion: 4. 'More stable and perfect faith': religious diversification and the paradox of interfaith conversion; 5. 'False runagates' and 'superlunatical hypocrites': securing religious identity on the stage; 6. 'Most beautiful pagan; most sweet Jew': preserving Christianity in authentic conversions; 7. 'For Christian shame': Othello's assimilation into Venice.

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A cross-religious exploration of conversion on the early modern English stage offering fresh readings of canonical and lesser-known plays.

About the Author

Lieke Stelling is Assistant Professor in English at Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands. She has published articles on early modern literature in English Literary Renaissance and Shakespeare Jahrbuch, and co-edited The Turn of The Soul: Representations of Religious Conversion in Early Modern Art and Literature, with Harald Hendrix and Todd M. Richardson (2012).


'Religious Conversion in Early Modern English Drama offers a wonderfully controversial and compelling account of spiritual and interfaith conversions on the early modern English stage. Reading plays like Dr Faustus, The Renegado, Othello, and many others alongside sermons, pamphlets, travel writings, and personal narratives, Lieke Stelling enriches and updates our understanding of the confluence of religion and drama in the period. A wide variety of scholars will find this an important and engaging book.' Kurt Schreyer, University of Missouri, St Louis
'Drawing on a wide range of canonical and non-canonical plays, Lieke Stelling makes a compelling case that the theatre is a central locus for debating religious conversion within and between religious faiths. This book will be of interest to scholars of early modern drama, but it should also be read by historians of the Reformation and of early modern religious identity more generally.' Adrian Streete, University of Glasgow

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