Richard Crashaw: Poetics, Devotion, Music

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Little St Mary's Church, Cambridge, UK - Saturday 13 April 2013
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Proposals are invited for contributions to a one-day conference commemorating the 400th anniversary of the birth of Richard Crashaw, poet and divine. Crashaw is renowned as a unique voice in seventeenth-century English poetry, and a central figure in the Anglican Counter-reformation of the 1620s and 30s. His life and verse have lately enjoyed renewed scholarly attention: through his acquaintance with the community at Little Gidding, for instance, and the history of his conversion to Roman Catholicism. This conference, taking place in Cambridge (where Crashaw studied, was elected to a fellowship at Peterhouse, and served, in Little St Mary's Church, as catechist and curate), will develop and enhance this interest in Crashaw's writings, by bringing together scholars from three disciplines -- poetry and poetics, theology, and music.

We would welcome proposals for papers (of approximately 20-30 minutes in length) on any of these three disciplines, or that connect them in any way. Topics might include (but are not limited to):

- poetry as scriptural or religious language;
- the theology of poetic or musical beauty;
- liturgy and worship;
- English Catholicism and conversion;
- Crashaw's poetry and seventeenth-century visual art;
- voices of prayer;
- the theology and ethics of poetic form;
- the poetics and theology of sense, sensation and sensuality;
- musical settings of Crashaw;
- the 'Baroque';
- Crashaw's relationship to continental European arts.

The conference will be preceded by a concert, on Friday 12 April 2013, featuring musical settings of Crashaw's poems, including works newly commissioned for this occasion.

Please submit proposals before 13 February 2013, or any enquiries to: Christopher Burlinson (,
Lucy Razzall (,
or Simon Jackson (