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Metaphor, Cure, and Conversion in Early Modern England

Helen Smith
Renaissance Quarterly
Vol. 67, No. 2 (Summer 2014), pp. 473-502
DOI: 10.1086/677408
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/677408
Page Count: 30
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Metaphor, Cure, and Conversion in Early Modern England
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Abstract

One of the most prevalent metaphors for conversion in early modern England was the cure of a diseased soul. This article draws together religious controversy, medical manuals, and individual accounts of conversion to chart the variety of sources that inform this metaphor, from the practical experience of the sickbed to the typological traditions of biblical interpretation. It explores the varied language of spiritual sickness in order to reevaluate both the operations of religious feeling and recent accounts of metaphor as embodied, and suggests instead that conversionary cures open up the category of imagined sensation and the complex connections between bodily and spiritual feeling in this period.

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