Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Religion Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Theses/Dissertations

English Language and Literature

Institution
Keyword
Publication Year
Publication

Articles 1 - 30 of 135

Full-Text Articles in Religion

Setting The Stage And Building Homes: Architecture Metaphors And Space In Donne's First Caroline Sermon, Alexander S. Laws Aug 2019

Setting The Stage And Building Homes: Architecture Metaphors And Space In Donne's First Caroline Sermon, Alexander S. Laws

University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations

Through his use of "foundation" and "house" metaphors in his "First Sermon Preached to King Charles at St. James, 3 April 1625," John Donne discreetly presents his ideologies and principles before the new king, while simultaneously criticizing his contemporaries' misguided bickering over religio-political factions. This essay seeks to unpack the history surrounding, as well as the casuistical logic found within Donne's first sermon preached during the Caroline period, which both explicitly and implicitly addresses the foremost anxieties of the people of the changing age.


Erotic Devotional Poetry: Resisting Neoplatonism In Protestant Christianity, Sarah M. Pruis Jun 2019

Erotic Devotional Poetry: Resisting Neoplatonism In Protestant Christianity, Sarah M. Pruis

Honors Projects

A genre best known for its appearance in Eastern religions, erotic devotional poetry uses sensual imagery to access an experience of the divine. Historically, many Christian traditions, excluding the mystical ones, have pushed back against such literature, seeing it as an impure model that degrades divinity by association with the physical, especially in the specific physical ritual of sex. This stance is a hallmark of Protestant Christianity. The idea of a dichotomy and hierarchy between soul and body, though, comes not from theology but from the introduction theologians made between Western philosophy, particularly Platonic Dualism, and Christianity, which was then ...


The Impact Of The Gospel Of Matthew On The Treatment Of Violence And Self-Defense In The Medieval English And Modern American Legal Systems, Caitlyn Koch May 2019

The Impact Of The Gospel Of Matthew On The Treatment Of Violence And Self-Defense In The Medieval English And Modern American Legal Systems, Caitlyn Koch

Senior Honors Theses

There is no doubt that the Bible is filled with the concept of violence, especially in the New Testament, where Jesus faces the violence of persecution in his own life. There is also no doubt that the synoptic gospels each has its own way of addressing this violence: Mark responds to the violence with Jesus’s passivity, while Matthew, Luke, and John, each to their own extent, teach about non-retaliation and doing good to those who wrong you through their depictions of Jesus’s response to violence. Significantly, Matthew depicts Jesus’s response to violence in two different ways: first ...


Black Eurocentric Savior: A Study Of The Colonization And The Subsequent Creation Of The Black Eurocentric Savior In William Shakespeare’S The Tempest, Aphra Behn’S Oroonoko, And Charles Chesnutt’S “Dave’S Neckliss” And The Marrow Of Tradition, Keir Singleton May 2019

Black Eurocentric Savior: A Study Of The Colonization And The Subsequent Creation Of The Black Eurocentric Savior In William Shakespeare’S The Tempest, Aphra Behn’S Oroonoko, And Charles Chesnutt’S “Dave’S Neckliss” And The Marrow Of Tradition, Keir Singleton

Electronic Theses & Dissertations Collection for Atlanta University & Clark Atlanta University

Colonization adversely impacts the psychological health of the colonized. To heal psychologically, economically, and culturally and break chains of colonization in a post-colonial society, the colonized must be grounded in understanding and embrace of their cultural and historical heritage. This embrace and remembrance of the ancestors will inspire and create a spiritual and mental revolution. Prominent literary works from 16th to 20th century, such as Charles Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition and "Dave’s Neckliss", William Shakespeare’s "The Tempest" and Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, explore the psychological and cultural demise of people of African descent due to colonization ...


Dmt And “The Man Box:” Provoking Change And Encouraging Authentic Living, An Arts-Based Project, Steven Reynolds May 2019

Dmt And “The Man Box:” Provoking Change And Encouraging Authentic Living, An Arts-Based Project, Steven Reynolds

Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses

This thesis explores the mind-body experience through an arts-based research approach to examine, and redefine the emotional capacity and usefulness of males through societal determinants that limits and hinders men from living their authentic selves. Through the lens of a metaphoric “Man Box” 112 men participated in a workshop recreating their personal narratives of socialization through, style of dress, coping mechanisms, belief systems and who they should be as men through society's standards. In the “Man Box,” male bonding, and emotional feelings are discouraged, while the objectification of women, material property and physical/emotional strength are encouraged. This research ...


"We Are Strangers In This Life": Theology, Liminality, And The Exiled In Anglo-Saxon Literature, Nathan John Haydon May 2019

"We Are Strangers In This Life": Theology, Liminality, And The Exiled In Anglo-Saxon Literature, Nathan John Haydon

Theses and Dissertations

In “‘We Are Strangers in this Life’: Theology, Liminality, and the Exiled in Anglo-Saxon Literature,” I analyze the theme of exile in the theological literature of the Anglo-Saxon era as a way of conveying the spiritual condition of eschatological separation. The anthropological theory of liminality will be applied in this dissertation as a way of contextualizing the existence of the exiled, and the multiple ways in which exile is enacted. The intervention of the theory of liminality in this dissertation offers a methodology and vocabulary for assessing what exile means in terms of a spiritual identity, how it operates in ...


“The Book Of God Before Thee Set”: Rereading Early Modern Muslim And Christian Beliefs Through Paradise Lost, Kristin A. Rawlings Apr 2019

“The Book Of God Before Thee Set”: Rereading Early Modern Muslim And Christian Beliefs Through Paradise Lost, Kristin A. Rawlings

Senior Theses

Paradise Lost is a literary masterpiece that spans both cultural and religious lines. Recently, many scholars have taken an interest in similarities between the Christian epic poem and Islamic beliefs, and many Muslims report an interest in and identify with Paradise Lost. Curiously, however, Islam appears to lack a comparable dramatization of the expulsion of humans from the Garden of Eden. This project seeks first, to propose a possible orthodox Sunni theology in sixteenth-century Anatolia, and second, to speculate how Paradise Lost would have been different if it had emerged out of this cultural context, rather than seventeenth-century England. Through ...


The Greater Torment: Religious And Secular Desire In The Poetry And Criticism Of T.S. Eliot, Katie Buonanno Jan 2019

The Greater Torment: Religious And Secular Desire In The Poetry And Criticism Of T.S. Eliot, Katie Buonanno

Senior Projects Spring 2019

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Languages and Literature of Bard College.


The Medievalizing Process: Religious Medievalism In Romantic And Victorian Literature, Timothy M. Curran Oct 2018

The Medievalizing Process: Religious Medievalism In Romantic And Victorian Literature, Timothy M. Curran

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The Medievalizing Process: Religious Medievalism in Romantic and Victorian Literature posits religious medievalism as one among many critical paradigms through which we might better understand literary efforts to bring notions of sanctity back into the modern world. As a cultural and artistic practice, medievalism processes the loss of medieval forms of understanding in the modern imagination and resuscitates these lost forms in new and imaginative ways to serve the purposes of the present. My dissertation proposes religious medievalism as a critical method that decodes modern texts’ lamentations over a perceived loss of the sacred. My project locates textual moments in ...


Sigrid Undset's Sacramental Realism: The Body In Kristin Lavransdatter, Annesley Moore-Jumonville Jun 2018

Sigrid Undset's Sacramental Realism: The Body In Kristin Lavransdatter, Annesley Moore-Jumonville

Honors Projects

Though literary modernism has been historically characterized as atheistic and anti-traditional, new critical voices are emerging that argue for the presence of the sacred in modernist texts. This paper joins those voices by proposing, along with the reexamination of the sacred in nonreligious writers like Woolf and Joyce, a reexamination of specifically religious work and on its own terms. The modern Catholic novel, in particular, with its focus on the eternal significance of humanity, deserves this attention. The paper offers Sigrid Undset’s 1920, Nobel Prize wining, Catholic trilogy, Kristin Lavransdatter, as a significant (and unjustly overlooked) text of the ...


Becoming Your Broken Cisterns: F. Scott Fitzgerald's Short-Fiction Treatment Of Religion, Richard W. Halkyard May 2018

Becoming Your Broken Cisterns: F. Scott Fitzgerald's Short-Fiction Treatment Of Religion, Richard W. Halkyard

Graduate Theses

The intention of my thesis is to reorient the popular vantage points whereby the masses view — and pigeonhole — author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Literary critics and cursory readers alike oftentimes fail to see how the writer’s foundational Catholic upbringing, and therefore, a religious inclination informed his craft. While Fitzgerald was raised Catholic, few literary critics acknowledge the pattern of religious thematics and imagery Fitzgerald implemented throughout the course of his career. Among those select critics — including Joan Allen, Alice Hall Petry, and Edward Gillin — none argue for a positive relationship between Fitzgerald and the Christian God. I assert that Fitzgerald ...


"Betwixt The World Destroyed And World Restored": Subjectivity And Paradisal Recovery In John Milton's Late Poems, Chihping Ma Feb 2018

"Betwixt The World Destroyed And World Restored": Subjectivity And Paradisal Recovery In John Milton's Late Poems, Chihping Ma

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This study focuses on the discovery of subjectivity through the recovery of lost paradise in Milton’s late poems, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes. This theme revolves around the tension between the affective and the empirical, which also configure the spheres of the sacred and the profane. I explore how the irresistibly emancipatory impulse of recovering lost paradise compels Miltonic subjects to seek ways to return to their originary state or the divine ensemble. During this process, the subject is engaged with his own incapacity or privation while reaching into the sphere of unknown potentiality. In particular, the ...


Tragedy And Theodicy: The Role Of The Sufferer From Job To Ahab, Nora Carroll Feb 2018

Tragedy And Theodicy: The Role Of The Sufferer From Job To Ahab, Nora Carroll

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The character of Job starts in literature, a trope and archetype of the suffering man who potentially gains wisdom through suffering. Job’s characterization informs a comparison to Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Shakespeare’s King Lear, Milton’s Paradise Lost, and finally Melville’s Moby-Dick. These versions of Job rally, fight, and rebel against a universe that was once loving and fair towards a more chaotic and nihilistic one. Job’s suffering is on the mark of all tragedy because he not only experiences a downfall, he gains wisdom through universalizing his torment. The Job trope not only stresses the role ...


Anthiom: A Christian Ya Novel, Krystal Parker Jan 2018

Anthiom: A Christian Ya Novel, Krystal Parker

Honors Theses

Kaelyn gripped tight at the silk sheets around her before her body settled into even breaths. In. Out. In. out. She could still see the shadowed faces in their dark hoods and the fires. There were always fires.

She opened her eyes and stared at the ceiling above her, counting the number oftiles from the edge of her bed to the mahogany dresser. In. Out. One. In. Out. Two.

You are back in your room, she reminded herself. It was just a dream.

"Kaelyn?" her door creaked open and she jumped. "Are you okay?"

She rolled over and saw the ...


Meeting At The Threshold: Slavery’S Influence On Hospitality And Black Personhood In Late-Antebellum American Literature, Rebecca Wiltberger Wiggins Jan 2018

Meeting At The Threshold: Slavery’S Influence On Hospitality And Black Personhood In Late-Antebellum American Literature, Rebecca Wiltberger Wiggins

Theses and Dissertations--English

In my dissertation, I argue that both white and black authors of the late-1850s and early-1860s used scenes of race-centered hospitality in their narratives to combat the pervasive stereotypes of black inferiority that flourished under the influence of chattel slavery. The wide-spread scenes of hospitality in antebellum literature—including shared meals, entertaining overnight guests, and business meetings in personal homes—are too inextricably bound to contemporary discussions of blackness and whiteness to be ignored. In arguing for the humanizing effects of playing host or guest as a black person, my project joins the work of literary scholars from William L ...


The Othering Of Muslim Women By Western And Eastern Societies, Allegra Upton Jan 2018

The Othering Of Muslim Women By Western And Eastern Societies, Allegra Upton

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The post-9/11 memoirs of Malala Yousafzai’s I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban and Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books intervene in and offer pertinent experiences for the Western discourses of Muslim women. These two life-stories both revolutionize and further the Othering of Muslim women, and this thesis will utilize the genre as a lens through which to assess how biographical literatures can supplement post-9/11 Western Orientalism in the misrepresentation of Muslim women in Pakistan and Iran. In addition, this thesis will also ...


Narrating Preterition: Postsecularism, Analysis, And Gravity's Rainbow, Damian Borovsky Jan 2018

Narrating Preterition: Postsecularism, Analysis, And Gravity's Rainbow, Damian Borovsky

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Recent trends in literary discourse have identified the “postsecular” in fiction, reimaginations of spiritual traditions in particularly postmodern ways. Much analysis of the postsecular posits the postsecular in fiction as an affirmation of postsecular spirituality, and celebrates its ability to describe a world “reenchanted” in postmodernity. I argue that an analysis of the postsecular which has reenchantment as its conclusion terminates too quickly, and fails to account for the ideological locus of the postsecular utopic gesture. Postsecularism, on this account, points to alternative narratives that run counter to the dominant and oppressive historical narratives of modernity. Rather than posit a ...


From Alienated To Connected: An Examination Of Religion In The Literature Of Su Xuelin, Bing Xin, And Xu Dishan, Gina M. Elia Jan 2018

From Alienated To Connected: An Examination Of Religion In The Literature Of Su Xuelin, Bing Xin, And Xu Dishan, Gina M. Elia

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

The literature of Bing Xin 冰心 (birth name Xie Wanying 谢婉莹) (1900-1999), Su Xuelin 苏雪林 (1897-1999), and Xu Dishan 许地山 (1893-1941) concerning religiosity is dismissed in previous scholarship by C.T. Hsia, Lewis Robinson, Marian Galik, Chen Weihua, and Yang Jianlong as reflecting simply the personal experiences of the authors themselves rather than as political or social commentary. I argue for a reading of these three authors’ literature that acknowledges its efforts to engage with contemporaneous debates on the relationship of religion and modernization. Using close-reading and intertextual analysis, I argue that within the narratives of these three authors’ literature ...


"A Meruelous Thinge!": Elizabeth Of Spalbeek, Christina The Astonishing, And Performative Self-Abjection In Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms Douce 114, Murrielle Michaud Jan 2018

"A Meruelous Thinge!": Elizabeth Of Spalbeek, Christina The Astonishing, And Performative Self-Abjection In Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms Douce 114, Murrielle Michaud

Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive)

Contributing to the spirited discussion regarding feminist and pro-feminine readings of Middle English hagiography, this dissertation challenges the tradition of grouping accounts of medieval holy women into a single genre that relies on stereotypes of meekness and obedience. I argue that fifteenth-century England saw a pro-feminine literary movement extolling the virtues of women who engaged in what I term “performative self-abjection,” a form of vicious self-renunciation and grotesque asceticism based on Julia Kristeva's model of the abject. The corollary of women's performative self-abjection is ex-gratia spiritual authority, public recognition, and independence, emphasized in the English corpus of fifteenth-century ...


Sacred And Profane Loves: The Renaissance Influence In C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces, Kevin Corr Jan 2018

Sacred And Profane Loves: The Renaissance Influence In C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces, Kevin Corr

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

C.S. Lewis’ last novel, Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, has often been regarded as his greatest work, but just as often as his most enigmatic work. The purpose of this thesis is to unveil much of the novel’s mystery by considering the impact Renaissance literature had in shaping the novel, most notably Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene. Although it is well-known that Lewis was Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge, current scholarship on Lewis has overlooked the Renaissance influence in the author’s work, which particularly plays a vital role in Till We Have ...


Sense And Sensibility: A Sermon On Living The Examined Life, Sarah J. Mejias Aug 2017

Sense And Sensibility: A Sermon On Living The Examined Life, Sarah J. Mejias

University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations

Jane Austen’s novels remain an essential component of the literary canon, but her first published novel, Sense and Sensibility, is frequently neglected. However, in Sense and Sensibility is the genesis of Austen’s technique through which her major characters cultivate and reveal a strong inner life, demonstrated through the character of Elinor Dashwood. This technique is a characteristic she incorporates in each of her succeeding novels. Her approach to literature centers on the interiority of her characters and their ability to change, but it her first novel Austen takes a unique approach. Following the structure of an eighteenth-century sermon ...


Providential Capitalism: Heavenly Intervention And The Atlantic’S Divine Economist, Ian F.P. Green Jun 2017

Providential Capitalism: Heavenly Intervention And The Atlantic’S Divine Economist, Ian F.P. Green

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Providential capitalism names the marriage of providential Christian values and market-oriented capitalist ideology in the post-revolutionary Atlantic through the mid nineteenth century. This is a process by which individuals permitted themselves to be used by a so-called “divine economist” at work in the Atlantic market economy. Backed by a slave market, capital transactions were rendered as often violent ecstatic individual and cultural experiences. Those experiences also formed the bases for national, racial, and classed identification and negotiation among the constellated communities of the Atlantic. With this in mind, writers like Benjamin Franklin, Olaudah Equiano, and Ukawsaw Gronniosaw presented market success ...


Lyrical Mysticism: The Writing And Reception Of Catherine Of Siena, Lisa Tagliaferri Jun 2017

Lyrical Mysticism: The Writing And Reception Of Catherine Of Siena, Lisa Tagliaferri

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Lyrical Mysticism: The Writing and Reception of Catherine of Siena (https://caterina.io) affirms the 14th-century mystic Catherine of Siena as a writer through contextualizing her texts among the corpus of contemporary Italian literature, and studying her reception in the Renaissance period of Italy and England. Joining an increasing body of recent meaningful scholarship that has been making significant progress to recover many overlooked and peripheral female voices of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, this work serves to fully assert Catherine as a writer of work that is literarily significant and worthy of textual analysis alongside contemporary male Italian ...


Combatting Human Extinction: Biblical Archetypes And Environmental Apocalypse In Contemporary Dystopian Fiction, Elizabeth Hurley Jun 2017

Combatting Human Extinction: Biblical Archetypes And Environmental Apocalypse In Contemporary Dystopian Fiction, Elizabeth Hurley

Honors Theses

This project examines through recreations of Biblical archetypes the cause and effect of environmental apocalypse and potential human extinction in contemporary dystopian novels. The goal of this thesis is, in part, to argue that near-future dystopian fiction is speculative, since the fictional reasons behind the downfall are akin to Anthropocenic (that is, pertaining to the age of the Anthropocene, the contemporary world where humans have severely altered the Earth) environmental and ecological concerns. In examining The Year of the Flood (2009) by Margaret Atwood, Parable of the Sower (1994) by Octavia Butler, and The Maze Runner (2009) by James Dashner ...


Contrite Hearts: Lay Clergie In Late Medieval England, Sara Fredman May 2017

Contrite Hearts: Lay Clergie In Late Medieval England, Sara Fredman

Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This project reads two texts composed by women in the shadow of Arundel’s Constitutions – The Book of Margery Kempe and Eleanor Hull’s Commentary on the Seven Penitential Psalms – as two forms of response to the late fourteenth-century critique of clergy best exemplified by William Langland’s Piers Plowman. Langland’s poem describes the failures of institutional clergy, particularly that of their responsibility to evoke contrition in lay penitents. The poem deftly questions “Clergie,” revealing a multiplicity of meanings and the inability of the myriad forms of clerical authority to serve the “lewed.” The poem ends with the allegorical ...


Believing Mary Karr, Stephanie Rae Guedet Apr 2017

Believing Mary Karr, Stephanie Rae Guedet

Theses and Dissertations

Believing Mary Karr examines how belief, represented in the memoirs of Mary Karr, works in our contemporary moment. This examination is supported by the argument that our identities and the stories we tell about them are always constructions of belief, and that these beliefs are ultimately relational, enacted in the intersubjective relationship between writers and readers of autobiography. This dissertation provides the fields of both rhetoric and life writing studies not only an awareness of how ideas about belief—how beliefs about belief—have already shaped our scholarly imagination but also the possibilities a rhetoric of belief can offer to ...


God The Father Or Mother Divine? : Subversive Theology In John Milton's Paradise Lost And Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, Jordan Pace Apr 2017

God The Father Or Mother Divine? : Subversive Theology In John Milton's Paradise Lost And Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, Jordan Pace

Senior Theses and Projects

No abstract provided.


Working The Garden: Women And Religion In Apocalyptic Fiction, Sarah C. Collier Apr 2017

Working The Garden: Women And Religion In Apocalyptic Fiction, Sarah C. Collier

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In this paper, I analyze Margaret Atwood’s trilogy, MaddAddam, focusing primarily on The Year of the Flood and its portrayal of religion, ecofeminism, and survival. In the first section of the paper, I outline the religion, the God’s Gardeners, and the importance of their deep ecological beliefs. Following that, I show how Atwood provides an ecofeminist view of this religion through the perspective of female protagonists. Then, I detail the issue of survival and the way religion is repurposed for society to survive. Finally, in the last section, I compare MaddAddam to Octavia Butler’s novels, Parable of ...


Leonard Cohen's New Jews: A Consideration Of Western Mysticisms In Beautiful Losers, Alexander Lombardo Jan 2017

Leonard Cohen's New Jews: A Consideration Of Western Mysticisms In Beautiful Losers, Alexander Lombardo

CMC Senior Theses

This study examines the influence of various Western mystical traditions on Leonard Cohen’s second novel, Beautiful Losers. It begins with a discussion of Cohen’s public remarks concerning religion and mysticism followed by an assessment of twentieth century Canadian criticism on Beautiful Losers. Three thematic chapters comprise the majority of the study, each concerning a different mystical tradition—Kabbalism, Gnosticism, and Christian mysticism, respectively. The author considers Beautiful Losers in relation to these systems, concluding that the novel effectively depicts the pursuit of God, or knowledge, through mystic practice and doctrine. This study will interest scholars seeking a careful ...


"Saga Hwaet Ic Hatte": The Riddles Of The Aenigmata And The Exeter Book In Conversation, Miranda Chiharu Villesvik Jan 2017

"Saga Hwaet Ic Hatte": The Riddles Of The Aenigmata And The Exeter Book In Conversation, Miranda Chiharu Villesvik

Senior Capstone Projects

Symphosius's Latin Aenigmata and the Old English Exeter Book, although known as two related collections of riddles, have not yet been analyzed from the perspective of their connected natures. This thesis seeks to bring the two collections into conversation as a means of discovering new information about the texts and using the textual differences to probe the authors' cultural contexts.