The work includes scholarly writers interested in a Christian perspective on selected comedies and the four late romances, and each writer shows tremendous insight on the claims made by the representations of Christianity of the Renaissance era as well as the dramatist's response to those claims. The book makes the fabric of Shakespeare's Christian vision available to the scholarly community of the twenty-first century. The essays in this volume were delivered as lectures on the occasions of the last two Shakespeare Institutes (1996, 1999) held at Wheaton College (IL). The Institutes, sponsored by the Shakespeare Special Collection at Wheaton and held under the general rubric of Shakespeare and the Christian Tradition, focused on selected comedies (1996) and the late Romances (1999). Fewer papers appear on the comedies than on the romances, primarily due to several participants in the Institute on the comedies not submitting their papers for various but legitimate reasons.
Even so the selected comedies well represent the emphasis of the 1996 Institute, and all essays of both Institutes advance and deepen understanding of the substantive nature of the Institutes on Shakespeare and the Christian Tradition. All of the late romances are included. In their transition from oral delivery to printed essays, the lectures went through several changes. Some long papers were cut, short papers were rewritten and expanded, while others had slight revisions and had footnotes added. Lengthy but interesting personal stories were omitted from some lectures, but nevertheless attempts were made to honor the desires of lecturers in the style and format of their papers. The staff of the Shakespeare Special Collection of Wheaton College expresses deep gratitude to all the lecturers who placed their papers for publication. Some participants