"In order to spirituall good the body often afflicted": bodily affliction in Lady Mary Carey's conversion narrative (1649-57)
journal contributionposted on 10.09.2014, 14:07 by Rachel C. Adcock
In seventeenth century narratives of conversion, the body and spirit were seen to be inextricably intertwined. The body’s appetite for carnal pleasures was thought to tempt the soul from its spiritual path towards salvation, and during the process of conversion the body was often afflicted by the various means that God used to mortify sin in his chosen people. In the manuscript conversion narrative of the seventeenth century noblewoman Lady Mary Carey, entitled ‘A Dialogue betwixt the Soul, and the Body’ (1649), she noted in one of the margins that ‘in order to spirituall good[,] the body often afflicted’.1 This article will go on to consider the importance of bodily affliction in Carey’s religious experiences, particularly how she interpreted it as integral to her spiritual health.
- The Arts, English and Drama
- English and Drama