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Renascence

Essays on Values in Literature

Volume 68, Issue 1, Winter 2016

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1. Renascence: Volume > 68 > Issue: 1
Russell M. Hillier, “Th’ action fine”: The Good of Works in George Herbert’s Poetry and Prose
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This essay discusses George Herbert’s treatment of the good of works in his poetry and prose. I first consider the position of the early modern Church of England on good works and then turn to Herbert’s imagining of sanctification as the natural efflorescence of justification across a selection of his Latin and English lyrics. Next I suggest that The Temple and The Country Parson are twin books that make up Herbert’s vision of the complete Christian, justified and undergoing sanctification. If The Temple forms a map with justification as the collection’s destination, then The Country Parson is a work of “practical piety” with the process of sanctification, the enacting of good works by a justified sinner, as its principal goal. Through these complementary works Herbert projects an ambitious spiritual program, commencing in the justification of the human heart and subsequently evolving into the dispersal of holiness, charity, and good works in the world.
2. Renascence: Volume > 68 > Issue: 1
C. Kenneth Pellow, Joyce’s Doubling
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One of James Joyce’s best-known tendencies as a writer of fiction is his avoidance of anything like authorial intrusion. As his best biographer, Richard Ellmann, puts it: “Joyce never insists.” This choice could have presented a problem for him in writing Dubliners, for he intended that collection of stories to be a moral exposé of the “dear, dirty Dublin” that he had fled. A main means of his satisfying both desires is what this essay identifies as “doubling.” Time after time, Joyce gives characters descriptions, mannerisms, modes of speaking, etc., that duplicate those of another character in another story. Simultaneously, he puts characters into similar situations, sometimes facing common dilemmas. Differences in their ways of responding to their crises nudge the reader—who is often predisposed by Joyce’s mnemonic devices—into the moral judgments that Joyce almost certainly hoped to instill.
3. Renascence: Volume > 68 > Issue: 1
N. S. Boone, D. H. Lawrence Between Heidegger and Levinas: Individuality and Otherness
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This essay explains how D. H. Lawrence occupies an unusual place in 20th century ethical discourse—between Heidegger’s privileging of strength-in-aloneness and his ethics of “letting be,” and Levinas’ privileging of the experience of otherness as the fundamental moment of ontology. Lawrence’s rhetoric, especially in his essays, seems to advocate a Heideggerian ethical position; however, by examining The Rainbow and Women in Love, this essay demonstrates how Lawrence’s fiction pushed him towards the acknowledgement that otherness is the fundamental basis for ethics.
4. Renascence: Volume > 68 > Issue: 1
Notes on Contributors
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