photo of Constance Furey

Read my recent article, “Body and Society in Religious Studies”

Read my Immanent Frame piece, “Besides”

Read my essay "Punk Prayer and Passionate Friendship" about Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids

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Learn more about my bookPhoto Erasmus, Contarini, and the Religious Republic of Letters

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Constance Furey

Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies
Associate Department Chair, Religious Studies

Contact

cfurey@indiana.edu
Sycamore Hall, Rm. 226

Education

Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2000

B.A., Brown University, magna cum laude, with Honors in Religious Studies, 1991.

Research Interests

Professional Biography

I am a scholar of Renaissance and Reformation Christianity, interested especially in the emergence of new types of religious and intellectual communities and theoretical questions of relationality and intersubjectivity. I wrote on religious humanism in my first book, Erasmus, Contarini, and the Religious Republic of Letters(Cambridge, 2006), and have published several articles and essays on the intertwining of friendship and utopian thought in early modern England. My current book project, Crowded Interiors: Sacred Selves and Relationships in English Renaissance Poetry, focuses on how devotional poetry by both male and female writers in the English Renaissance re-imagined intimate relationships as sites of utopian longing and fulfillment.

In this, as in my other research projects, I am interested in thinking about how religiously-motivated ideals and assumptions should be understood in relation to a whole host of social developments, ranging from the advent of print and new kinds of literary authority to the celebration of friendship, changing conceptions of marriage and patronage, and shifting assumptions about gender.

My interest in theory as well as historical analysis is reflected also in the courses I teach, which include not only surveys and thematic courses about Christianity, with a primary focus on the West, but also undergraduate and graduate courses on anthropological, sociological, and philosophical approaches to the study of religion. I am also involved in developing a new Initiative for the Humanistic Study of Innovation, a project close to my heart not only because of my interest in utopia but also because of the pressing need to demonstrate the value of the humanities--including the study of cultural phenomena from distant times as well as places--to the ongoing project of creating a better world today.

Awards

Courses Recently Taught

Publication Highlights

Books

Erasmus, Contarini, and the Religious Republic of Letters (Cambridge University Press, September 2005)

Selected Articles

"Besides." The Immanent Frame (15 March 2012).

"Intimate Virtue: Puritan Marriage and Devotional Poetry." The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 42.1 (2012).

"Body, Society, and Subjectivity in Religious Studies," Journal of the American Academy of Religion. 80.1 (2012).

“Utopian History” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 20.4 (2008), 385-398.

“The Selfe Undone: Individualism and Relationality in John Donne and Aemilia Lanyer” Harvard Theological Review, 99.4 (Fall 2006), 469-86.

"Invective and Discernment in Luther, Erasmus, and More" Harvard Theological Review, (October 2005), 469-88.

 

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