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Affect before Spinoza: Reformed Faith, Affectus, and Experience in Jean Calvin, John Donne, John Milton and Baruch Spinoza

dc.contributor.advisor Khanna, Ranjana
dc.contributor.advisor Shannon, Laurie
dc.contributor.author Leo, Russell Joseph
dc.date.accessioned 2009-08-27T18:39:57Z
dc.date.available 2011-08-27T04:30:07Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10161/1356
dc.description.abstract <p>Affects are not reducible to feelings or emotions. On the contrary, Affect Before </p><p>Spinoza investigates the extent to which affects exceed, reconfigure and reorganize </p><p>bodies and subjects. Affects are constitutive of and integral to dynamic economies of </p><p>activity and passivity. This dissertation traces the origins and histories of this definition </p><p>of affect, from the Latin affectus, discovering emergent affective approaches to faith, </p><p>devotional poetry and philosophy in early modernity. For early modern believers across </p><p>confessions, faith was neither reducible to a dry intellectual concern nor to a personal, </p><p>emotional appeal to God. Instead, faith was a transformative relation between humans </p><p>and God, realized in affective terms that, in turn, reconfigured theories of human agency </p><p>and activity. Beginning with John Calvin and continuing through the work of John </p><p>Donne, John Milton, and Baruch Spinoza, Affect Before Spinoza posits affectus as a basis </p><p>of faith in an emergent Reformed tradition as well as a term that informs disparate </p><p>developments in poetry and philosophy beyond Reformed Orthodoxy. Calvin's </p><p>configuration of affect turns existing languages of the passions and of rhetorical motives </p><p>towards an understanding of faith and certainty. In this sense, Calvin, Donne, Spinoza </p><p>and Milton use affectus to pose questions of agency, will, tendency, inclination, and </p><p>determinism.</p>
dc.format.extent 23734998 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.subject Literature, Comparative
dc.subject Philosophy
dc.subject Religion, History of
dc.subject Affect
dc.subject Calvin
dc.subject Donne
dc.subject Milton
dc.subject Reformation
dc.subject Spinoza
dc.title Affect before Spinoza: Reformed Faith, Affectus, and Experience in Jean Calvin, John Donne, John Milton and Baruch Spinoza
dc.type Dissertation
dc.department Literature
duke.embargo.months 24


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