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Scripture, style and persuasion in seventeenth-century English theories of preaching

Morrissey, M. ORCID: (2002) Scripture, style and persuasion in seventeenth-century English theories of preaching. Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 53 (4). pp. 686-706. ISSN 1469-7637

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S002204690100149X


The distinction between a Puritan ‘plain’ and a Laudian ‘metaphysical’ preaching style rests on secular rhetorical theories of persuasion that are relatively unimportant to early Stuart homiletics but are central to later Latitudinarian polemics on preaching. Instead, the ‘English Reformed’ theory and method of sermon composition rests on the didactic function of preaching and the need for the Holy Spirit and hearers to co-operate with the preacher. Although Andrewes and some avant-garde conformists questioned this theory, they developed no alternative method of composition. Arguments made in the 1650s for direct inspiration by the Spirit contributed to the decline of both theory and method

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Early Modern Research Centre (EMRC)
ID Code:25324
Publisher:Cambridge University Press


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