Citizen-saints: Shakespeare And Political Theology

Paperback | February 3, 2014

byJulia Reinhard Lupton

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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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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 s...

Julia Reinhard Lupton is professor of English and comparative literature at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Afterlives of the Saints: Hagiography, Typology, and Renaissance Literature and coauthor of After Oedipus: Shakespeare in Psychoanalysis.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:February 3, 2014Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022614352X

ISBN - 13:9780226143521

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
A Note on Texts
Introduction
1. Citizen Paul
2. Deformations of Fellowship in Marlowe's Jew of Malta
3. Merchants of Venice, Circles of Citizenship
4. Othello Circumcised
5. Antigone in Vienna
6. Creature Caliban
7. Samson Dagonistes
Epilogue: The Literature of Citizenship: A Humanifesto
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"It is the rare book indeed that offers its reader at least one keen insight in each chapter. Citizen-Saints is just such a book. Wide-ranging and insightful, it draws on theology, religious studies. psychology, social history, political theory, philosophy, and literature."