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The period 1689-1901 was 'the golden age' of the sermon in Britain. Sermons out-sold other books until the mid-nineteenth century and were a key part of peoples' religious worship. Sermons influenced the outcome of elections, they challenged science and were used as vehicles for popular campaigns such as that for the abolition of slavery. The popularity of sermons should not be underestimated. Preachers attracted huge crowds, the Baptist minister Charles Spurgeonregularly preached to 5,000 people, and the popular demand for sermons was never higher. Sermons were also taken by missionaries and clergy across the British empire. Sermons varied widely in form, and this enabled preaching to be adopted and shaped by every denomination, so that in this period mostreligious groups could lay claim to a sermon culture.
Keith Francis is a historian of religion in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and is particularly interested in the development of the biological sciences and their impact on nineteenth-century Christianity. He is the Executive Secretary of the American Society of Church History, a visiting research fellow at Oxford Brookes University, as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland University College.
William Gibson is a historian of religion in Britain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, he has written widely on the Church of England in this period and is particularly interested in its role in politics and the emergence of an enlightenment culture. He is Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford Brookes University and Director of the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History. He is co-editor of Wesley and Methodist Studies and reviews editor of Archives (the journal of the British Records Association). In 2011 he was visiting research fellow at Yale University. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Association and of the Royal Society of Arts.
Table of Contents
I: Introductory Essays 1. The British Sermon 1689-1901: Quantities, Performance, and Culture, William Gibson 2. Sermons: Themes and Developments, Keith A. Francis II: Sermons: Communities, Cultures and Communication 3. Parish Preaching in the Long Eighteenth Century, Jeffrey S. Chamberlain 4. Parish Preaching in the Victorian Era: The Village Sermon, Frances Knight 5. Preaching from the platform, Martin Hewitt 6. The British Quaker Sermon, 1689-1901, Michael Graves 7. The Sermons of the Eighteenth-Century Evangelicals, Bob Tennant 8. Sermons in British Catholicism to the Restoration of the Hierarchy, Geoffrey Scott 9. Preaching in the Churches of Scotland, Ann Matheson 10. The Sermon and Political Controversy in Ireland, 1800-1850, Irene Whelan 11. Sermons in Wales in the Established Church, John Morgan-Guy 12. Preaching in the Vernacular: the Welsh sermon, 1689-1901, D. Densil Morgan 13. Order and Uniformity, Decorum, and Taste: Sermons Preached at the Anniversary Meeting of the Three Choirs, 1720-1800, Andrew Pink III: Occasional Sermons 14. The Sermon, Court and Parliament 1689-1789, Pasi Ihalainen 15. The Defence of Georgian Britain, the Anti-Jacobite Sermon 1715-1746, James J. Caudle 16. Preaching, National Salvation, Victories and Thanksgiving, 1689-1800, Warren Johnston 17. Sermons in the Age of the American and French Revolutions, Grayson Ditchfield 18. This Itching Ear d Age : Visitation Sermons and Charges in the Eighteenth Century, William Gibson 19. Consecration Sermons, Colin Haydon 20. The Protestant Funeral Sermon in England, 1688-1800, Penny Pritchard 21. The Victorian Funeral Sermon, John Wolffe IV: Sermons, Controversies and the Development of Ideas 22. Hard Labour: Institutional Benevolence and the Development of National Education, Bob Tennant 23. Sermons for End Times: Evangelicalism, Romanticism, and Apocalypse in Britain, Robert J. Surridge and Keith A. Francis 24. Rationalism, the Enlightenment, and Sermons, Nigel Aston 25. Preaching the Oxford Movement, Jeremy Morris 26. Sermons and the Catholic Restoration, Melissa Wilkinson 27. Paley to Darwin: Natural Theology versus Science in Victorian Sermons, Keith A. Francis 28. Preaching the Broad Church Gospel: The Natal Sermons of Bishop John William Colenso, Gerald Parsons V Sermons: Missions and Ideas of Empire 29. From Barbarism to Civility, from Darkness to Light : Preaching Empire as Sacred History, Robert G. Ingram 30. Eighteenth-Century Mission Sermons, Rowan Strong 31. The Sermon in the British Colonies, Joanna Cruickshank 32. Church of Ireland Missions to Roman Catholics c.1700-1800, Andrew Sneddon 33. Go ye therefore and teach all nations : Evangelical and Mission Sermons, the Imperial Stage, Jessica A. Sheetz-Nguyen VI: Sermons and Literature 34. The Poet-Preachers, Kirstie Blair 35. Tradition Preaching and the Gothic Revival, Stephen Prickett 36. The Sermon and the Victorian Novel, Linda Gill VII: Conclusion 37. Sermon Studies: Major Issues and Future Directions, Keith A. Francis