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Grant number like: FB-50297-04

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John D. Cox
Hope College (Holland, MI 49423-3663)

FB-50297-04
Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

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

Grant period:
8/1/2004 – 7/31/2005

Philosophical Shakespeare

I am applying for a fellowship to complete an interdisciplinary monograph on Shakespeare and philosophy. The subject is familiar, but I am using it to bring a fresh perspective not only to Shakespeare but also to the history of early modern thought, the transition from religious to secular culture, and the formative background of enlightenment rationalism. In brief, I am arguing that an approach to Shakespeare by means of traditional philosophical problems not only suggests the breadth of his thinking but also reveals its limits. His assumptions are largely pre-modern, and the prevailing supposition that he was a secular skeptic fails to reckon with the breadth and toughness of his religious vision and the limitations of his intellectual heritage.