Religion in the Age of Enlightenment


Melancholy, Religion, Age of Enlightenment, Anatomy of Melancholy


In Melancholy, Medicine and Religion in Early Modern England: Reading The Anatomy of Melancholy (2010), Mary Ann Lund challenges what she sees as the excesses, on one hand, of attempting to shoehorn Robert Burton's idiosyncratic text into a single genre and, on the other, of reader-response interpretations of the Anatomy. Lund tackles the Anatomy's notorious unwieldiness by treating the text as a guidebook intended to combat all types of melancholy for any type of reader. In other words, the excessiveness of the Anatomy's form suggests the generosity of an author and pastor who sought to help everyone, not just a select group of readers, to resist the common malady of melancholy.