George Herbert: his place in English church history
Hughes, J. Donald (Johnson Donald)
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Problem. The purpose of the dissertation is to discuss the place of George Herbert (1593-1633) in the history of the Christian Church in England. With the revival of interest in and appreciation of the metaphysical poets, the name of George Herbert has taken a recognized place in the list of English authors, and his contribution to English literature is acknowledged increasingly. On the other hand, his role in Church history has never adequately been assessed. His theological and ecclesiological position often has been misrepresented gravely, and as a result his English poems, all of which deal with religious subjects, have been misunderstood to some extent by many. The dissertation is not a study of George Herbert considered primarily as a literary artist. It does not attempt to make a literary analysis of his poems, nor does it look for evidences of purely literary influence, except where data of this kind contribute directly to understanding his religion or his place in the Church. George Herbert's religious devotion is for us totally bound up in his poetry, and his attitude toward his poetic gift is at its root religious. Therefore a study of this kind cannot avoid all literary questions, and it refers constantly to his poetry. But what is attempted is an historical view of Herbert's place in English religious life and not a criticism of his poetry and prose. [truncated]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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