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Reading the Bible in Early Modern England: Hermeneutics, Politics, and Literature

Henry VIII as King David
Thursday, April 04, 2024
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Thomas Fulton, Rutgers University

Seminar participants are encouraged to read in advance two short chapters from Thomas Fulton's recent book, The Book of Books: Biblical Interpretation, Literary Culture, and the Political Imagination from Erasmus to Milton (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021), the introduction and chapter 8: Milton contra Tyndale. An e-copy of the book is available in Perkins Library, but if that is not accessible, contact Michael Cornett at to get these materials. The seminar will discuss the relationship between reading practices and literary production, focusing on the question of how writers like Shakespeare and Milton stage problems of biblical interpretation in their poetry.

Thomas Fulton is Professor of English at Rutgers University and the author of two monographs, Historical Milton: Manuscript, Print, and Political Culture in Revolutionary England (2010), and the aforementioned Book of Books. He has edited collections of essays, including (with Ann Baynes Coiro) Rethinking Historicism from Shakespeare to Milton (2012) and (with Kristen Poole) and The Bible on the Shakespearean Stage (2018). His collection "The Bible and English Readers," published in the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, won the CELJ Best Special Issue award for 2017. He is currently editing the works of William Tyndale and an edition of the King James Bible for Oxford University Press.