George Herbert's "Holy Patterns": Reforming Individuals in Community

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2007 M06 10 - 192 pages
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George Herbert's "Holy Patterns": Reforming Individuals in Community explores Herbert's understanding of full individuality in community. Living communities depend upon imagined histories and futures. Like his mother Lady Magdalen Danvers and her friend John Donne, and unlike many of his Anglican contemporaries, Herbert imagined significant continuity with the pre-Reformation past; that imagination was tied to a prophetic imagining of the future triumph of Christ's universal and apostolic church. Herbert's project was to 'purify' a unified national church from within, this purification taking place through lives lived communally in self-scrutiny, self-regulation, sacrifice, and loving service. Such 'holy patterns' of living were imagined as leading to the purification of the whole church, the spread of the Gospel, human advancement through what we would call scientific knowledge, and international peace. 

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About the author (2007)

Greg Miller is Professor of English at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. His books of poems, Iron Wheel and Rib Cage, were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.

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