Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 February 2022
explores the origins and implications of the political marriage metaphor deployed by King James to buttress his growing prerogative and by godly ministers to articulate their principled resistance. Because women served as ideal surrogates for political subjects who merited “reasonable liberty” while accepting monarchical rule, domestic conduct guides such as William Whately’s offered coded discussions of political rights and duties, including a woman’s obligation to obey her conscience. In addition, oppositional uses of the passionate and militant female voice in the Song of Songs championed Christ’s independent jurisdiction over the faithful to the exclusion of earthly kings. Echoing the voice of the wife as political subject in marriage sermons, the desiring voice of the spouse as Church united male and female subjects seeking to be joined with an attentive Head committed to mutuality and recognition of her needs.
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