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Scholars Day: April 11, 2012

John Donne: The Sacramentality of Sex

The presentation examines Donne's use of erotic imagery and sexual language as a means to convey a deeper spiritual meaning and religious experience in his poetry. Specifically, the paper focuses on the relationship between the body and soul and how reciprocated, mutual, 'true love', is attained through the combination of the two. In much of his work, Donne depicts love through a sacramental lens, making it more than an emotion, but a means to forming a connection with the divine. This duality between the physical and the spiritual is particularly evident in his secular works, The Flea,The Extasie, and Aire and Angels, as well as in his Divine Poems, particularly Holy Sonnet XIII. These works express Donne's belief in the earthly body as a necessary component for love, and its capabilities of drawing one closer to God. Thus, he suggests that carnal lust and a love of the Lord are not two completely contradictory notions.


Please note that presentation times are approximate. If you are interested in attending sessions with multiple presentations, please be in the room at the start of the session.
Presenter: Kyle Fuller (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: English
Location: 218 Hartwell
Time: 10:45 am Session II

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