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The Eye of the Eagle

John Donne and the Legacy of Ignatius Loyola


Francesca Knox Bugliani

John Donne’s family were committed Catholics. His two uncles were Jesuits. One of them, Jasper Heywood, was the leader of the Jesuit mission in England, while Donne’s mother was a recusant who was forced to leave the country in 1595. In this detailed and historically contextualized study, the author argues that Donne was greatly influenced in his journey from militant Roman Catholicism to ordination in the Church of England by Ignatius of Loyola’s religious ideals and in particular by his Spiritual Exercises.
The book describes the pervasive influence of the Spiritual Exercises on late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Catholicism and Protestantism. In this light, it offers a close reading of Donne’s preordination religious poems and prose with constant reference to the sermons. These works are usually read through the tinted lenses of ‘Catholicism’ or ‘Protestantism’ or other religious ‘-isms’. The reading proposed here argues instead that Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises were for Donne a means to transcend the simplistic and perilous divisions of contemporary Catholicism and Protestantism.


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Appendix III - Some Remarks on the 2001 Edition of Donne’s Essays in Divinity -293


Appendix III Some Remarks on the 2001 Edition of Donne’s Essays in Divinity Raspa’s text and commentary of Donne’s Essays in Divinity is valuable for John Donne studies.1 For the purposes of this book I have, however, found it simpler to use Simpson’s 1952 edition. My reasons for doing so are that Raspa often corrects Donne’s text in ways that I disagree with. Some examples are as follows: 1. Raspa substitutes Donne’s ‘novimen’ with ‘novamen’ in his edited text, p. 51, claiming that there is no such word as ‘novimen’ in Latin.2 This is mistaken. In the Renaissance it was commonly thought that ‘nomen’ was a contraction of novimen (see Paulus Diaconus, Excerpta ex libris Pompei Festi de significatione verborum, ed. Lindsay, p. 176: ‘Nomen dictum quasi novimen, quod notitiam facit’).3 Isidore, Etimologiae, I.vii.i, ed. Lindsay, suggested notamen: ‘Nomen dictum quasi notamen, quod nobis vocabulo suo res notas ef ficiat. Nisi enim nomen scieris, cognitio rerum perit’. 1 See, for example, R.V. Young, ‘Review of Donne’s Essays in Divinity, ed. Raspa’, Reformation & Renaissance/Renaissance et reform 26 (2002), 17–19, and H. Hamlin, ‘Review of John Donne’s Essays in Divinity’, Renaissance Quarterly 58 (2005), 1449–51. 2 Donne, Essayes, ed. Raspa, 160. 3 The same etymology is to be found in F.E.J. Valpy, An Etymological Dictionary of the Latin Language (London: Longman, 1828), 288, and in G.M. Lemon, English Etymology (London: Robinson, 1783). 294 Appendix III 2. Donne, Essayes (1651), p. 18, writes that the number of Zoroaster’s oracula (verses)...

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