Mutual Accusation: Seventeenth-Century Body and Soul Dialogues in Their Literary and Theological Context

By Rosalie Osmond

© 1990

Dualism, unlike monism, is a system that allows for dynamic and dramatic possibilities. Just as it can explain change and imperfection in the natural world, as the two distance elements of matter and spirit or matter and form strive to accommodate themselves to one another, so in the little world of the human the two elements of body and soul generate conflict as well. Essential to one another and yet incompatible, they provide both an explanation of and a metaphor for the internal, psychological struggle that the individual feels going on within.
The body and soul dialogues portray this tradition of conflict in its most fundamental form. They bring together psychological concerns about the nature of humanity and theological concerns about the responsibility for sin. They provide the conceptual centre from which the multiple metaphors and analogies in the rest of the literature radiate.
Rosalie Osmond examines both literal and metaphorical aspects of the relationship between body and soul in seventeenth-century literature and their significance within a primarily dualistic philosophy. She begins with an overview of the beliefs concerning body and soul from the time of the Greek philosophers to the seventeenth century. Within the seventeenth century these views, as they manifest themselves in the works of scientific writers and theologians, are examined in some detail.
In the central section of the work, she focuses on the medieval dialogues and their seventeenth-century counterparts. The reappearance of the latter, after the form had apparently died out and their subsequent final disappearance late in the century are examined in the light of other literature and theological writings of the period.
 The final section of the book brings the insights of the first two to bear on seventeenth-century literature other than the debates themselves, including poetry and drama.
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Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP005806

  • PUBLISHED DEC 1990

    From: $29.21

    Regular Price: $38.95

    ISBN 9781487579036
  • PUBLISHED DEC 1990

    From: $29.21

    Regular Price: $38.95

Quick Overview

Rosalie Osmond examines both literal and metaphorical aspects of the relationship between body and soul in seventeenth-century literature and their significance within a primarily dualistic philosophy.

Mutual Accusation: Seventeenth-Century Body and Soul Dialogues in Their Literary and Theological Context

By Rosalie Osmond

© 1990

Dualism, unlike monism, is a system that allows for dynamic and dramatic possibilities. Just as it can explain change and imperfection in the natural world, as the two distance elements of matter and spirit or matter and form strive to accommodate themselves to one another, so in the little world of the human the two elements of body and soul generate conflict as well. Essential to one another and yet incompatible, they provide both an explanation of and a metaphor for the internal, psychological struggle that the individual feels going on within.
The body and soul dialogues portray this tradition of conflict in its most fundamental form. They bring together psychological concerns about the nature of humanity and theological concerns about the responsibility for sin. They provide the conceptual centre from which the multiple metaphors and analogies in the rest of the literature radiate.
Rosalie Osmond examines both literal and metaphorical aspects of the relationship between body and soul in seventeenth-century literature and their significance within a primarily dualistic philosophy. She begins with an overview of the beliefs concerning body and soul from the time of the Greek philosophers to the seventeenth century. Within the seventeenth century these views, as they manifest themselves in the works of scientific writers and theologians, are examined in some detail.
In the central section of the work, she focuses on the medieval dialogues and their seventeenth-century counterparts. The reappearance of the latter, after the form had apparently died out and their subsequent final disappearance late in the century are examined in the light of other literature and theological writings of the period.
 The final section of the book brings the insights of the first two to bear on seventeenth-century literature other than the debates themselves, including poetry and drama.
Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘The discussion is both lively and enlightening…it should become the definitive work on the body and soul dialogue.’


    James F. Forrest, Department of English, University of Alberta
  • Author Information

    ROSALIE OSMOND has taught English at York and Mount Allison universities in Canada, and now is a part-time tutor at the University of London.