All in One Quire: Emotional Communities in John Donne's Easter Sermons

Presented by Dr Jennifer Clement

Date: Friday 23 August, 2019
Time: 3:00pm-4:00pm
Location: Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2), Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37) 


Most of John Donne’s Easter sermons, unsurprisingly, focus on Christ’s resurrection and the resurrection of the elect to come. They are therefore future-directed, even as they work to develop a stronger sense of Christian community by reminding Donne’s congregations that to be a Christian is, by definition, to belong now to a community of the living and the dead alike. In this paper, I draw on Barbara Rosenwein’s concept of emotional communities to argue that Donne’s Easter sermons define Christian identity as fundamentally intersubjective and communal, united in the exercise of charity in the now, and the feeling of hope for the future. In the process, I will show how Donne’s Easter sermons push against individualistic conceptions of the self and instead create a rhetorical space within which emotion ties together the living and the dead, but only at the price of excluding religious others.


Jennifer Clement is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at UQ, and this paper stems from her current book project on sermons and emotions. She has published widely on literature and religion, the history of emotions, early modern women’s writing, and Shakespeare and film adaptation.


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Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2), Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)