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Grant number like: FA-53242-07

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Richard Charles McCoy
CUNY Research Foundation, Queens College (Flushing, NY 11367-1575)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2007 – 8/31/2008

Faith in Shakespeare: Theater and Theology

Religion has returned, after a long hiatus, as a major concern in Shakespeare studies, but a dark and disenchanted view of theology and theater still dominates current scholarship. I will challenge this view on both historical and performative grounds. Eamon Duffy contends that Protestants made iconoclasm “the central sacrament of . . . reform,” but most reformers were not iconoclasts, and they retained their faith in ritual and sacramental efficacy. Communion was grounded in what one called “a confederation of our affections” rather than a metaphysical real presence. Faith, in Shakespeare’s theater, demands a comparable sense of emotional “confederation,” and I propose to explore the sources of that faith.