"George Herbert's Holy Patterns: Reforming Individuals in Community" explores Herbert's understanding of full individuality in community. Living communities depend upon imagined histories and futures. Like his mother Lady Magdalen Danvers and her friend John Donne, and unlike many of his Anglican contemporaries, Herbert imagined significant continuity with the pre-Reformation past; that imagination was tied to a prophetic imagining of the future triumph of Christ's universal and apostolic church. Herbert's project was to "purify" a unified national church from within, this purification taking place through lives lived communally in self-scrutiny, self-regulation, sacrifice, and loving service. Such "holy patterns" of living were imagined as leading to the purification of the whole church, the spread of the Gospel, human advancement through what we would call scientific knowledge, and international peace.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgements (2,000 words). Chapter I: Self-Parody and Pastoral Praise: George Herbert's Memoriae Matris Sacrum (7,000 words); Chapter II: Magdalen Herbert's Testament: Tomb Art and the Rhetoric of Forceful Ambiguity (7,000 words); Chapter III: Little Gidding, Catechism, and Protest (7,000 words); Chapter IV: The Winding-Sheet: Little Gidding, George Herbert, and the Rewards of Holiness (7,000 words); Chapter V: Science and Religion: Communal Constructions of Truth and Identity (14,000 words); Chapter VI: Herbert's Philosemitism: Against Christian Pride (7,000 words); Chapter VII: The Poetics of Unending Conversion (18,000 words).
Greg Miller is Professor of English at Millsaps College in Jackson, Misissippi. His books of poems, Iron Wheel and Rib Cage, were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.