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Who Narrates the Bible: Reformation Commentary and English Verse Culture


This dissertation argues that early modern scholars invented the idea of the biblical narrator. In Pentateuchal commentaries beginning with Luther and Calvin, the pressures of Protestant theology forced commentators to focus on Moses, whom they imagined as a mediating, human presence within the divinely authored text. In turn, this innovative literary theory shaped how seventeenth century English poets—particularly Lucy Hutchinson, Abraham Cowley, and John Milton—wrote their own biblically themed poems, offering them a new, narratological sophistication.

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