Chaucer and Religious Controversies in the Medieval and Early Modern Eras
Chaucer and Religious Controversies in the Medieval and Early Modern Eras adopts a comparative, boundary-crossing approach to consider one of the most canonical of literary figures, Geoffrey Chaucer. The idea that Chaucer is an international writer raises no eyebrows. Similarly, a claim that Chaucer's writings participate in English confessional controversies in his own day and afterward provokes no surprise. This book breaks new ground by considering Chaucer's Continental interests as they inform his participation in religious debates concerning such subjects as female spirituality and Lollardy. Similarly, this project explores the little-studied ways in which those who took religious vows, especially nuns, engaged with works by Chaucer and in the Chaucerian tradition. Furthermore, while the early modern ""Protestant Chaucer"" is a familiar figure, this book explores the creation and circulation of an early modern ""Catholic Chaucer"" that has not received much attention. This study seeks to fill gaps in Chaucer scholarship by situating Chaucer and the Chaucerian tradition in an international textual environment of religious controversy spanning four centuries and crossing both the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. This book presents a nuanced analysis of the high stakes religiopolitical struggle inherent in the creation of the canon of English literature, a struggle that participates in the complex processes of national identity formation in Europe and the New World alike.