Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Shakespeare and Early Modern Religion


David Loewenstein, Michael Witmore, David Bevington, Peter Marshall, Felicity Heal, Alison Shell, Beatrice Groves, Peter Lake, Adrian Streete, Ewan Fernie, Richard McCoy, Paul Stevens, Michael Davies, Matthew Dimmock, Brian Cummings
View all contributors
  • Date Published: October 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108733663

£ 24.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Written by an international team of literary scholars and historians, this collaborative volume illuminates the diversity of early modern religious beliefs and practices in Shakespeare's England, and considers how religious culture is imaginatively reanimated in Shakespeare's plays. Fourteen new essays explore the creative ways Shakespeare engaged with the multifaceted dimensions of Protestantism, Catholicism, non-Christian religions including Judaism and Islam, and secular perspectives, considering plays such as Hamlet, Julius Caesar, King John, King Lear, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Winter's Tale. The collection is of great interest to readers of Shakespeare studies, early modern literature, religious studies, and early modern history.

    • Offers interdisciplinary perspectives on Shakespeare and early modern religion from both literary scholars and historians, appealing to a broad range of readers
    • Illuminates the ways in which Shakespeare's plays represent a wide variety of religious beliefs and practices, also revealing a dynamic interaction between religious and secular issues in the plays
    • Connects religious issues in Shakespeare's plays with political and national ones, illuminating religious belief, politics and national identity in early modern England
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Full of gems, this collection provides a highly productive juxtaposition of historical and literary scholarship.' Thomas Fulton, Renaissance Quarterly

    'Hoping to reach both specialists in the field and a more general audience, David Loewenstein and Michael Witmore have edited a wonderfully varied set of fourteen essays by accomplished literary scholars and historians, many of whom have already published books and articles on Shakespeare and religion.' Arthur F. Marotti, Shakespeare Studies

    'The editors' approach to their topic - their avoidance of polemic and generalization both - issues in all sorts of fascinating gems.' Peter Holbrook, Shakespeare Quarterly

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108733663
    • length: 329 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction David Loewenstein and Michael Witmore
    Part I. Revisiting Religious Contexts in Shakespeare's England:
    1. The debate about Shakespeare and religion David Bevington
    2. Choosing sides and talking religion in Shakespeare's England Peter Marshall
    3. Experiencing religion in London: diversity and choice in Shakespeare's metropolis Felicity Heal
    Part II. Representing Religious Beliefs and Diversity in the Plays:
    4. Delusion in A Midsummer Night's Dream Alison Shell
    5. The siege of Jerusalem and subversive rhetoric in King John Beatrice Groves
    6. Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and the search for a usable (Christian?) past Peter Lake
    7. Lucretius, Calvin, and natural law in Measure for Measure Adrian Streete
    8. Agnostic Shakespeare?: the God-less world of King Lear David Loewenstein
    9. 'Another Golgotha' Ewan Fernie
    10. Shakespeare and wisdom literature Michael Witmore
    11. Awakening faith in The Winter's Tale Richard McCoy
    12. Hamlet, Henry VIII, and the question of religion: a post-secular perspective Paul Stevens
    13. Converting Henry: truth, history, and historical faith in Henry VIII Michael Davies
    14. Shakespeare's non-Christian religions Matthew Dimmock
    Afterword Brian Cummings.

  • Editors

    David Loewenstein, Pennsylvania State University
    David Loewenstein is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and the Humanities at Pennsylvania State University. He is the editor and author of many publications, including John Milton, Prose: Major Writings on Liberty, Politics, Religion, and Education (2013), Treacherous Faith: The Specter of Heresy in Early Modern English Literature and Culture (2013), The Cambridge History of Early Modern English Literature (coeditor, Cambridge, 2002), and Representing Revolution in Milton and his Contemporaries: Religion, Politics, and Polemics in Radical Puritanism (Cambridge, 2001) which won a James Holly Hanford Distinguished Book Award.

    Michael Witmore, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC
    Michael Witmore is Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. He is the author of Landscapes of the Passing Strange: Reflections from Shakespeare (with Rosamond Purcell, 2010), Shakespearean Metaphysics (2008), and Pretty Creatures: Children and Fiction in the English Renaissance (2007). He is also the editor of Childhood and Children's Books in Early Modern Europe, 1550–1800 (with Andrea Immel, 2006).


    David Loewenstein, Michael Witmore, David Bevington, Peter Marshall, Felicity Heal, Alison Shell, Beatrice Groves, Peter Lake, Adrian Streete, Ewan Fernie, Richard McCoy, Paul Stevens, Michael Davies, Matthew Dimmock, Brian Cummings

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.