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Dreams and the Passions in Revolutionary England

Scott, Richard (2014) Dreams and the Passions in Revolutionary England. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Between 1640 and 1660, England suffered a profound political, religious and social revolution, with its roots in the broader crisis over the nature of religious truth precipitated by the long Reformation. This thesis explores one element of this crisis over divine truth—the nature and origins of dreams, their status as reliable knowledge, and pragmatic and psychological responses to them as experiences. Dreams are explored as a powerful conceptual category in a number of contexts, including medical literature and theological writings concerned with the soul, prophecy and cosmology; the sermons and confessional literature of puritan and Anglican divines; and a diverse range of ‘radical’ and ‘occult’ texts imported to England and produced at home after the lapse of censorship in the 1640s. The study not only gives renewed attention to changes in the concepts, identities and practices constructed around dreams in intellectual discourses, but demonstrates the many ways in which they were in contestation; draws out their intimate relationship to wider intellectual struggles of the day in greater depth than previous studies; and highlights a variety of heretofore unappreciated attempts to integrate regard for and study of dreams into Christian philosophical thinking in the seventeenth-century.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > History (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.605453
Depositing User: Mr Richard Scott
Date Deposited: 23 May 2014 10:49
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 11:16
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5917

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