‘A Cat on a Post’: Animal Events in Seventeenth-century Writing

Susan Wiseman

in Renaissance Transformations

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780748638734
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651573 | DOI:
‘A Cat on a Post’: Animal Events in Seventeenth-century Writing

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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This chapter examines a different Renaissance imaginative sense of embodiment, which is how the soul inhabits the body. It looks at how the sense of transformation in sacramental processes was regularly registered in the popular imagination of the seventeenth century through animal stories. The chapter then studies the use of animal baptism to learn what a wide social range of people felt about the religious rites they participated in during times of political and social change. It also attempts to re-assess the understanding of the ‘popular’ during the Renaissance.

Keywords: sense of embodiment; Renaissance; sacramental process; animal baptism; animal stories; religious rites

Chapter.  7274 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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