The Bible had a profound impact on early modern culture, and bible-reading shaped the period's drama, poetry, and life-writings, as well as sermons and biblical commentaries. This volume provides an account of the how the Bible was read and applied in early modern England. It maps the connection between these readings and various forms of writing and argues that literary writings bear the hallmarks of the period's dominant exegetical practices, and do interpretative
work. Tracing the impact of biblical reading across a range of genres and writers, the discussion demonstrates that literary reimaginings of, and allusions to, the Bible were common, varied, and ideologically evocative.
The book explores how a series of popularly interpreted biblical narratives were recapitulated in the work of a diverse selection of writers, some of whom remain relatively unknown. In early modern England, the figures of Solomon, Job, and Christ's mother, Mary, and the books of Song of Songs and Revelation, are enmeshed in different ways with contemporary concerns, and their usage illustrates how the Bible's narratives could be turned to a fascinating array of debates. In showing the
multifarious contexts in which biblical narratives were deployed, this book argues that Protestant interpretative practices contribute to, and problematize, literary constructions of a range of theological, political, and social debates.