Addiction and devotion debunks this dogma by exploring the great variety of meanings that can be found for the word addiction in early modern times including virtuous addiction to religious faith this debunking is important because the medicalized understanding of addiction that now prevails has failed to bring addiction under control. Charting the development of the modern sense of addiction while at the same time attending to its early modern senses as something laudable even heroic addiction and devotion in early modern england is an important intervention adam smyth university of oxford. Rebecca lemon shows how sixteenth century writers such as marlowe and shakespeare depict addiction to many things including to god study love friendship and drinking addiction and devotion in early modern england explores the fine line between devotion and pathology revealing addictions laudable as well as pejorative meanings. However she also uncovers their understanding of addiction as a form of compulsion that resonates with modern scientific definitions specifically early modern medical tracts legal rulings and religious polemic stressed the dangers of addiction to alcohol in terms of disease compulsion and enslavement. Rebecca lemons new study addiction and devotion in early modern england does not merely trace an etymological development she takes the earliest meanings of addiction not as a cute
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