Kant on history and religion - With a translation of Kant's by Michel Despland

By Michel Despland

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Extra resources for Kant on history and religion - With a translation of Kant's "On the failure of all attempted philosophical theodicies"

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1 This chapter seeks to expand our understanding of the Reformation and “private” devotion by interrogating the link between solitude and privacy in the work of John Calvin, John Knox, and Anne Lock. Lock’s meditations on the theology of private laments and the variously gendered masks that her sonnets’ speaker adopts make her poetry an important test case for our understanding of privacy and literature. Through an examination of Lock’s 1560 sonnet sequence “A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner: Written in Maner of a Paraphrase upon the 51.

Lock’s repeated gestures towards the sexual nature of the speaker’s sins set the stage for the speaker’s offering God the sacrifice of “a broken spirit” in sonnet 19. Now, when the speaker avers that “I offer up my ghoste, / My slayne delightes, my dyeng hart to thee,” we recognize the renunciation of a sexual past (340–41). Lock’s use of Petrarchan imagery draws on these allusions to suggest that the speaker’s love of Christ will transform his (or her) licentious heart to “a new pure hart within my brest,” now lovingly bound to God “With fast affiance and assured sway” (245, 283).

As we have seen, this sonnet thematizes the “secret wisdom” mentioned in the psalm, but Lock takes a surprising turn in exploring the theme of truth. The first quatrain emphasizes not truth itself, but the related concept of simplicity: Thou lovest simple sooth, not hidden face With trutheles visour of deceiving showe. Lo simplie, Lord, I do confesse my case, And simplie crave thy mercy in my woe. This secrete wisedom hast thou graunted me, To se my sinnes, and whence my sinnes do growe: This hidden knowledge have I learnd of thee, To fele my sinnes, and howe my sinnes do flowe With such excesse, that with unfained hert, Dreding to drowne, my Lorde, lo howe I flee, Simply with teares bewailyng my desert, Releved simply by thy hand to be.

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