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Wounds of the Soul

  • Sarah Covington
Chapter
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Abstract

Varieties of religious experience are at once universal, particularly as they continually reenact biblical models, and historically contingent, or dependent upon the particular culture and time in which they are embedded. Put another way, if religious images and metaphors have remained stable through the ages—light and darkness, sheep and shepherds, the pilgrimage—the expression and emphasis of those images in language reflect the preoccupations of an age and its own approach to the relationship between the self and the divine.1 In the seventeenth century, biblical ideas of sin, conversion, and faith were inseparable from the notion of a soul, a heart, and even a physical body whose debilitation served as the precondition to a higher state of being; while the connection between the wounded body and spiritual transformation had roots in scripture, most obviously the psalms or book of Job, this did not diminish the intensely personal nature and formal literary power of an image that continued to be utilized as both an abstract symbol and a concrete, material description of abjectness.2

Keywords

Seventeenth Century Religious Experience Spiritual Exercise Religious Narrative Spiritual Awakening 
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Notes

  1. 4.
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© Sarah Covington 2009

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  • Sarah Covington

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