David Marno is fascinated with the Renaissance as a transitional period in which old epistemic unities are broken up into new, distinct endeavors of knowledge and practice. His research investigates how authors effected and experienced these changes. He is especially interested in how religious ideals and practices participate in the transformations of the period – how they at times fuel, and at times resist secularization. Much of his work concentrates on the intersection between literature and religious practice, in particular on the relationship between prayer, meditation, spiritual exercises and poetry. He has published on religious and secular concepts of attention, on apocalypse as a literary and political figure, and on philosophy of history and comparative literature. His first book Death Be Not Proud: The Art of Holy Attention (Chicago, 2016) reads John Donne's Holy Sonnets as a site where the bonds between premodern devotional, literary, and philosophical investments in attentiveness become visible. The question of when and why prayer requires attentiveness has led him to his current project, which focuses on prayer in the aftermath of the Reformation.