Appeared in Vol. 4 No. 3

Richard Crashaw [ca. 1613-1649] was an important Catholic poet in a hostile Protestant world who himself entered the Church as a convert from Puritanism and Anglicanism during the English Civil War. In uenced by continental mysticism, Crashaw often wrote of Divine love in sensuously human terms, thereby giving rise to a common opinion that he lacked intellectual perception and was rather over-emotional in his poetic craft. Such a judgment has also been used to devalue his conversion. Nonetheless, Crashaw has won strong admirers as well as detractors, and his work remains a source of contention to the present day. In the article which follows, R. V. Young shows convincingly that Crashaw was a man of acute perception who re ected precisely in his poetry the ultimate differences between not only Catholic and Protestant pieties, but doctrines as well. In so doing, the author reveals as much about the fundamental quarrel of the Reformation as about the genius of Richard Crashaw himself.

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