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Title: Religion, cognition and author-function : Dyer, Southwell, Lodge and 'As You Like It'
Author: Butler, Chris B.
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2011
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The thesis incorporates the view that allegory as a mode of communication is impossible. Accordingly, religious meanings of Elizabethan literary texts usually read as "secular" works are registered herein without recourse to positing an allegorical level of meaning in those texts. In order to arrive at relatively secure readings, texts have been selected which have explicit interrelationships (for example, texts which are parodies or adaptations of earlier texts). Registering the tenor of the later texts' departures allows contemporary production of meaning from the earlier works to be traced. The aim, however, is not merely to show that Elizabethan "secular" texts are far more religious than tends to be supposed; the thesis seeks to demonstrate the extent to which theories of cognition were inseparable in the period from doctrinal issues. Early modems not only thought and read religiously, religious concepts informed their cognitive theories (and vice versa). The thesis culminates in a reading of As You Like It, arguing that the play employs facultative rhetoric (as derived from scholastic faculty psychology) in order to present human appetence as co-efficient in salvation. In doing so, the play downgrades the role of the intellectual faculty. The notion of author/dramatist as governing intellect is thereby brought into question. Accordingly, the thesis also traces the development of attitudes towards author-function in its study-texts, demonstrating the extent to which a given text's cognitive model and its rhetorical stance towards crucial doctrinal issues (relating to human participation in salvation) affect its deployment of, and attitude towards, author-function.
Supervisor: Rutter, Tom Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available