Paul Cefalu

This page reflects a scholar's association with the Folger Institute.

Long-term fellowship

"The Mind and Body of God: Divine Accommodation and Anthropomorphism in Early Modern English Culture" (Mellon, 2013–2014)

The Mind and Body of God aims to provide the first book-length account of the theory and practice of divine accommodation in early modern English culture. Accommodation, the notion that God deigns to lower himself to creaturely ability, derives from the Aristotelian concept of oikonomia, as well as the patristic concept of dispensatio. Introductory chapters track the etymological vicissitudes of the concept from the classical through early modern periods, giving particular attention to the Reformed account of accommodation which Jean Calvin famously described as a mode of divine “baby-talk.” Later chapters assess the appropriation of the term in early modern devotional poetry, Renaissance drama, negative theology, iconophobia, and antitrinitarian debates during the English Interregnum.