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(Em)bodying the Word

Textual Resurrections in the Martyrological Narratives of Foxe, Crespin, de Bèze and d'Aubigné


Catharine Randall Coats

(Em)bodying the Word contributes to the field of work on the body by exploring three Calvinist martyrological narratives (Crespin, D'Aubigné and de Bèze) and one Anglican text (Foxe) to elucidate the relationships among theological and literary treatments of the body, word and image. Coats distinguishes between Catholic hagiographical accounts and Protestant «martyrologies,» specifying the privileging of word over image or body as the primary difference. This reliance on word, while a tributary of Calvinism, is also a major factor in the development of a Calvinist aesthetic. The study therefore explores four works from a new angle, that of literary and theological interpretation.
Contents: Examines martyrological narratives (as opposed to and distinct from hagiographical accounts). Crespin's Histoire des martyrs as a work in which bodies make the text; d'Aubigné's Les tragiques as one which emphasizes body and word: de Bèze's Icones stresses emblematic presentation of word and image (body); Foxe's Actes and Monuments, an Anglican treatment, nuances Calvinist word vs. body problem.