Jennifer Lorden reveals the importance of deeply-felt religious devotion centuries before it is commonly said to arise. Her ground-breaking study establishes the hybrid poetics that embodied its form for medieval readers, while obscuring it from modern scholars. Working across the divide between Old and Middle English, she shows how conventions of earlier English poetry recombine with new literary conventions after the Norman Conquest. These new conventions—for example, love lyric repurposed as devotional song—created hybrid aesthetics more familiar to modern scholars. She argues that this aesthetic, as much as changing devotional practice, rendered later affective piety recognizable in a way that earlier affective devotional conventions were not. Forms of Devotion reconsiders the roots and branches of poetic topoi, revising commonplaces of literary and religious history. This title is part of the Flip it Open Programme and may also be available Open Access. Check our website Cambridge Core for details.
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