ENGL 337 B1: The English Bible and Seventeenth-Century Literature

D. Gay

Historian Christopher Hill once called seventeenth-century England the last pervasively biblical culture in western history. This means that biblical literature (stories and poems) was the deep structure of English literature and the source of much thought and expression in religion, politics, economics and other areas of life. Our course will explore the history of early modern English versions and their influence on seventeenth-century writings. We will consider some women writers and interpreters in the early century (Lanyer, Speght) and the later dissenting writers (Diggers, Quakers, Milton, Bunyan). As an added benefit, a knowledge of biblical symbols, myths, and metaphors can be useful for studying other periods and writers.