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God & the GothicReligion, Romance, & Reality in the English Literary Tradition$
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Alison Milbank

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198824466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198824466.001.0001

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Truly Two

Truly Two

Calvinist Anthropology and the Positive Gothic Double from Christopher Marlowe to John Buchan

Chapter:
(p.151) 7 Truly Two
Source:
God & the Gothic
Author(s):

Alison Milbank

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198824466.003.0008

Chapter 7 outlines the nature of Reformation anthropology as Gothic in the sense of being under the power of the usurper, Satan, and in seeing God as wrathful enemy before justification by faith. It examines Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus in relation to the Lutheran Faustbook, and as an example of a character who wishes to escape the ambiguities of election in favour of a settled reprobation. Calvinist double predestination is shown to produce a dualist subjectivity, and this is then explored in a series of Scottish Presbyterian Gothic fictions: James Hogg’s Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde and Markheim, and John Buchan’s historical tale of demon-worshipping Covenanters, Witch Wood. It is argued that the protagonists’ problem is not duality as such but an attempt to circumvent it, and that the Calvinist anthropology is not itself the problem, although it requires ‘Anglican’ mediation.

Keywords:   Calvinism, Doctor Faustus, the doppelgänger, James Hogg, Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Robert Louis Stevenson, Markheim, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, John Buchan, Witch Wood

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