Citizen-Saints: Shakespeare and Political Theology
Turning to the potent idea of political theology to recover the strange mix of political and religious thinking during the Renaissance, this bracing study reveals in the works of Shakespeare and his sources the figure of the citizen-saint, who represents at once divine messenger and civil servant, both norm and exception. Embodied by such diverse personages as Antigone, Paul, Barabbas, Shylock, Othello, Caliban, Isabella, and Samson, the citizen-saint is a sacrificial figure: a model of moral and aesthetic extremity who inspires new regimes of citizenship with his or her death and martyrdom.
Among the many questions Julia Reinhard Lupton attempts to answer under the rubric of the citizen-saint are: how did states of emergency, acts of sovereign exception, and Messianic anticipations lead to new forms of religious and political law? What styles of universality were implied by the abject state of the pure creature, at sea in a creation abandoned by its creator? And how did circumcision operate as both a marker of ethnicity and a means of conversion and civic naturalization?
Written with clarity and grace, Citizen-Saints will be of enormous interest to students of English literature, religion, and early modern culture.
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Antigone argues association Barabas become body bond brother Caliban called chapter Christ Christian Church circumcision citizen citizenship civic civil society consent constitution contract conversion covenant created creation creature critical culture de>ned death decision di=erent discourse drama e=ect early economic emergency equality example exception fall force forms function Gentile Greek gure hand historical human implies insists institutions Islam Israel Jewish Jews Judaism judge king limited literature living Malta mark marriage means Measure membership Merchant naturalization norms Othello particular passage Paul Paul’s Pauline play play’s polis political position possibility promise question re?ection reading reference relation religious remains represents ritual Roman rule Samson scene sense separation sexual Shakespeare Shylock social sovereign sovereignty space stage symbolic takes theology tion tradition turn typological University Press Venetian Venice writes York
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