Sometimes, very troubled periods in the life of the churches produce amazing spiritual literature, which was certainly true in the century after the Church of England was re-established under Elizabeth I in 1559-1560. Barely had the church achieved its settled institutions and heritage texts, when it was challenged both politically and theologically from within and without. Yet in this context, spiritual leaders of all kinds wrote inspiring texts of prayer and preaching. Leaders deployed all the tools of Renaissance rhetoric to celebrate the beauties of their faith and their liturgy. Especially in the 17th century, poets like John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan and Thomas Traherne expressed eloquent, complex, and often astonishingly frank and candid poetry in the depth of their spiritual struggles. This course reviews these texts and offers opportunities to explore the relationship between the spiritual, the artistic and the poetic.

Note: Fulfills an elective for MDiv students with a concentration in Anglican Studies. Identical to CI 317.