A Will to Believe: Shakespeare and Religion by David Scott Kastan

By David Scott Kastan

'A Will to think' is a revised model of Kastan's 2008 'Oxford Wells Shakespeare Lectures', delivering a provocative account of the ways that faith animates Shakespeare's plays.

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A Will to think is a revised model of Kastan's 2008 Oxford Wells Shakespeare Lectures, supplying a provocative account of the ways that faith animates Shakespeare's plays. Read more...

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A Will to Believe: Shakespeare and Religion

'A Will to think' is a revised model of Kastan's 2008 'Oxford Wells Shakespeare Lectures', offering a provocative account of the ways that faith animates Shakespeare's performs. summary: A Will to think is a revised model of Kastan's 2008 Oxford Wells Shakespeare Lectures, supplying a provocative account of the ways that faith animates Shakespeare's performs.

Extra resources for A Will to Believe: Shakespeare and Religion

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In any case, as a post-partum mother she would not have been present at the baptism of either child. ”19 There are at least a few records bearing directly on the religion of Shakespeare’s father. Having been born about 1530, John Shakespeare, like his wife, was raised in a Catholic family and grew up in a community that was recognizably slow to embrace any change to the established religion. Although the reforming Latimer was appointed bishop of Worcester in 1537, his tenure lasted only two years with little evidence of any lasting impact upon the diocese.

For any individual, faith and practice may not align, and familial and local relationships might well, in any case, complicate one’s confessional commitments. A neighbor may be a Catholic (or a Protestant) but is, nonetheless, a neighbor on whom one must sometime depend, and may even esteem, regardless of confessional loyalty. And even for a committed Protestant, the near certainty that one’s grandparents, anyhow, would have been Catholics must have occasionally unsettled the confidence that justification always came by faith alone.

Is it more probable that an amateur Stratford antiquarian (who, it should be noted, was not a Catholic) found an English translation of the Borromeo testament, of which no other English version was known until 1966, and that he decided to forge evidence of John Shakespeare’s enduring Catholicism? Or that a manuscript version of the Borromeo testament, of which no other example is known, reached John Shakespeare, and that he, or someone acting for him, filled in his name in the blanks of the formulary to confirm his Catholicism?

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