Departmental Directory

Timothy Rosendale

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Northwestern University


Tim Rosendale specializes in early modern British literature (c. 1500-1680), and particularly in this literature’s engagements with contemporary religion and politics. The first half of his 2007 book is about the English Reformation and the Book of Common Prayer, and the ways in which the BCP negotiated crucial tensions between a centralizing state authority and an individualizing Protestant theology; the second half traces these tensions into later texts by Sidney, Shakespeare, Milton, and Hobbes. In addition to period surveys and courses for the University Honors Program, Prof. Rosendale teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, Milton, religious poetry, early modern political theory, road narratives, Reformation theology, historiography, and literary criticism. He is currently writing a book about theological problems of agency—that is, the nature and limits of humans’ capacity for autonomous will and action—in works by Marlowe, Shakespeare, Kyd, Donne, Milton, and others.


Courses taught

  • Reformation Theology and Renaissance Literature
  • Renaissance Drama
  • Milton
  • Shakespeare
  • Poetry
  • History of British Literature

Publications (selected)

  • “Authority, Religion, and the State.” Forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Literature and Religion (2014).
  • “Agency and Ethics in Revenge Tragedy.”  Under submission.
  • “Wrong Turns in Donne’s ‘Goodfriday, 1613’.”  John Donne Journal 32 (2013).
  • “Book of Common Prayer.”  Blackwell Encyclopedia of Renaissance Literature (2012).
  • Liturgy and Literature in the Making of Protestant England. Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • "Milton, Hobbes, and the Liturgical Subject.” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 (SEL), 44:1 (2004).
  • “Sacral and Sacramental Kingship in Shakespeare’s Lancastrian Tetralogy.” In Shakespeare and the Culture of Christianity in Early Modern England, ed. Taylor and Beauregard (Fordham UP, 2004).
  • “‘Fiery toungues’: Language, Liturgy, and the Paradox of the English Reformation.” Renaissance Quarterly 54.4 (2001).