Protestant Poetic Sophistication

“The reformers loudly denounced the profusion of allegories and the doctrine of the four senses . . . But the Reformers accepted, and indeed exalted, typological symbolism, endeavoring by more and more rigorous means to distinguish this divinely sanctioned symbolic method from arbitrary allegorizing . . . the new Protestant emphasis is clear: it makes …

Some Protestantism as Arch-Romanism

“The holy community which Calvin sought to set up in Geneva represents in some ways a completer integration of Christianity with civilization than anything Europe had yet seen. It is true that there emerges within Calvinism, especially in its later Puritan developments, a more negative attitude toward the cultural amenities than had been present in …

The Reformers and Typology

“As everyone knows, the rallying cry of the Reformation was ‘the one sense of Scripture,’ the sole authority of the literal meaning . . . this precept by no means led to prosaic literalism. As we shall see in more detail later, the tirades against medieval allegorizing leveled by Luther, Tyndal, Calvin, Perkins, and many …

Calvinism Inside the Temple

George Herbert “is devoted to the visible church — its ritual, architecture, sacraments — but his theology is Calvinist: he affirms the double predestination (in ‘The Water-course’) and he struggles hard throughout the volume to relinquish any claim to any good thing as emanating from himself” (Lewalski, Protestant Poetics, p. 25).

A Bedrock of Calvinism

“It is hardly necessary now to argue that the theological tenor of the English Church in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries was firmly Protestant, even Calvinist, though literary critics have been in some danger of forgetting that fact as they stress Roman Catholic influences upon Donne or the medieval literary heritage of Herbert, …