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date: 29 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers an evaluation of existing theses on the ‘literary’ or poetic character of scripture in early modernity as well as attempts by exegetes in the period to render the Word intelligible in generic and dramatic terms. It looks at Reformation and subsequent exegetical and heuristic uses of Aristotle’s Poetics, with a specific focus on tragedy, across efforts to retrieve and claim the true historical meaning of scripture for confessional projects. It attends to the emergent genre of biblical comedy and tragedy, performances and publications in Latin that crossed national and confessional boundaries. The chapter also treats the effects of the renewed interest in poetics on the received text of scripture itself, tracing the work of such writers as George Buchanan, Bernardino Ochino, David Paraeus, and John Milton in their attempts to understand scripture with explicit reference to tragedy.

Keywords: George Buchanan, sacred tragedy, poetics, Martin Bucer, dramata sacra

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