Lecture: The Invention of Civil Religion: The Literatures of Church and State in Early Modern England


Location: 209 DeBartolo Hall

Elliot Visconti
Assistant Professor, Yale University

Reception 119 O’Shaughnessy.

Elliot Visconti has taught in the English Department at Yale since 2001, and is spending this year in residence at Yale Law School courtesy of a Mellon Foundation New Directions fellowship. He works broadly on the intersection of law, literature, and culture, with special reference to the literary contestation of constitutional norms of religious liberty and free speech. His first book, Lines of Equity: Literature and the Origins of Law in Later Stuart England (Cornell, 2008) describes how literary writers fictionalize the origins of law to cultivate equitable judgement and deliberative citizenship in a fractured English polity. He is now working on the cultural history of the separation of church and state in early modern England and America—parts of which have appeared in Representations and Raritan—and a study of Shakespeare as a political theorist of human dignity.

Sponsored by the Department of English.