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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

To many of his contemporaries Marlowe was associated not with religion but, publicly and repeatedly, with irreligion. This chapter begins by suggesting that all Marlowe’s major works are in effect first contact narratives, and can be seen as responding in one way or another to Elizabethan encounters with other civilizations, and that this might be a possible reason why a man apparently initially destined for the Church ended his life as a playwright and poet. It then examines some of the various representations of religion in his works, including his use of classical mythology as well his inclusion of Jewish and Muslim characters, and finally attempts to trace some of the effect these had on his contemporaries. Ultimately it argues that Marlowe exerted a major influence on ways of both thinking about and writing about religion in early modern English culture.

Keywords: America, belief systems, exploration, atheism, mythology

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