IJBS on Facebook

The IJBS has now a public Facebook page that you will find at: https://www.facebook.com/johnbunyansociety

This page will enhance public awareness of the Society. You can Like it and promote it in anyway you think fit.

In parallel, our Facebook group is still running; we now have over 70 members from all parts of the world. Should you want to become a member of the group, please contact our Vice President, David Gay, dgay@ualberta.ca.




Cromwell’s Religion: A Study Day, 3rd October 2015

Religious division was one of the key factors that dominated the 17th century and the driving force behind Oliver Cromwell’s extraordinary ascent to his role as Lord Protector. The subject is huge and has many different aspects – and the potential to be a subject worthy of a life-times study.

The Cromwell Association exists to further study of Cromwell and to promote a wider understanding of ‘God’s Englishman’ and his legacy. It is an educational charity and publishes an annual journal as well as promoting events and activities that further the overall aims.

The Association, in partnership with the Dissenting Experience Project, has organised a study day to look at different aspects of Cromwell’s religion. The programme, aimed at a non-academic audience, will comprise four papers by specialists in the field. They range from an examination of Cromwell’s relationship with the Presbyterians to the role of Quakers in the Protectorate. The day will be chaired by Professor John Morrill.

The study day is open to all and will take place at The City Temple, Holborn Viaduct, London, on Saturday 3rd October. The fee for the day, including a light buffet lunch, is £45.00.

For further details, and on-line booking, see www.olivercromwell.org/whats_new.htm

  • The full programme for the day is available on-line at the link above
  • The Association organises an annual study day, recent previous subjects have been Cromwell and the Army, Cromwell’s early life, Richard Cromwell. Papers are normally published in the annual journal Cromwelliana. Sample copies available on request.
  • The Association was established in 1937. It also organises an annual service of commemoration by the statue of Cromwell at Westminster on 3rd September, the anniversary of Cromwell’s death.
  • Images available on request
  • For further details of the event and, or, the Association, please contact John Goldsmith, jrgoldsmith@talktalk.net

IJBS Regional Day Conference, Bedford

Over forty people attended a highly successful Regional Day Conference of the International John Bunyan Society held on 10 April 2015 in the new Gateway building at the Bedford Campus of the University of Bedfordshire.


The subject of the conference was ‘Representing Dissent in the Long Eighteenth Century’, and it was organised by Professor Bob Owens (University of Bedfordshire) in collaboration with Professor David Walker (Northumbria University). Speakers included (in the order in which they spoke): Professor Anne Dunan-Page (Aix-Marseille Université), Jenna Townend (PhD student, Loughborough University), Ed Legon (PhD student, University College London), Professor David Walker (Northumbria University), Dr Alan Argent (Dr Williams’s Library), Dr Nicholas Seager (Keele University), Professor Jeffrey Hopes (Université d’Orleans), and Dr Tessa Whitehouse (Queen Mary University of London). Among the audience were academics from over a dozen universities in the UK and France, together with students and members of the public from the local area.

IJBS BED CONF 3 IMGP0809 wroThis event was the first in what David and Bob hope will become a regular series of Regional Day Conferences, to be held alternately in Bedford and Newcastle. As Bob remarked in his introduction, it was appropriate that the inaugural conference should be held in Bedford, since it is the Mecca for all scholars of Bunyan and the Dissenting tradition! The theme of the conference was how Dissenters in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries represented themselves and were represented by others during a long period in which they suffered oppression and discrimination because of their refusal to accept that the state had the right to dictate how and where they should worship God.


Protestant Dissenters were of course a small minority in English society, making up less than ten per cent of the population. They were eventually granted a measure of religious liberty under the Toleration Act of 1689, but it was not until well into the nineteenth century that they were granted equal rights with members of the Church of England in civil matters.

IJBS BED CONF 7 IMGP7860 wroTopics discussed by speakers included how Dissenting congregations kept ‘church books’ where they recorded details of the life and activities of the community; the ways in which Dissenters attempted to defend themselves against accusations of ‘disloyalty’ to the state, given their participation in the upheavals of the English Revolution; how, following the granting of toleration they began to establish organisations and libraries to support the work of Dissenting ministers; how leading Dissenters like Daniel Defoe took part in public debates on matters of national political concern and sought to influence opinion; and how Dissenting women used poetry and other forms of writing as a means of self-representation.

IJBS BED CONF 1 IMGP0780 wroIt was evident from the enthusiasm of participants and the high level of discussion throughout the day that delegates found the papers lively, accessible and interesting. At a time when the rights and freedoms of different religious minorities are under threat in many countries, the topic of this conference could hardly have been more pressing or relevant.

Contributions to the 2015 issue of The Recorder

© Justin Rowe

© Justin Rowe

Nathalie Collé is seeking contributions for the next issue of The Recorder, the IJBS newsletter, which will appear online in Spring. Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of potential items:

  • Past and upcoming events (conferences, seminars, exhibitions, etc.)
  • Reports on special events
  • Calls for papers
  • Calls for contributions
  • Book reviews
  • Interviews
  • Dissertations, Theses and Post-Doctoral Research (announcements, abstracts, reports on, etc.)
  • Recent publications (yours or others’)
  • Work in progress (yours or others’)
  • Notes
  • Short articles

Images of all type are welcome. Internet links can of course be included in the new digital Recorder.

Please contact the editor: ijbsrecordereditor@yahoo.com

IJBS 2016 Aix conference: CFP


The 8th Triennial Conference of the International John Bunyan Society

 Aix-en-Provence (France), 6–9 July 2016

 Plenary speakers: Alec Ryrie (Durham), Andrew Spicer (Oxford Brookes), Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge), Helen Wilcox (Bangor).

The conference will concentrate on the expression and representation of Protestant Dissent, Nonconformity and Puritanism (1500–1800), with an emphasis on the relationship between written and oral cultures. Topics might include: preaching, singing and praying; public and private devotion; conferences and disputations; epistolary conversation; religion and politics; rumour and defamation; reading and publishing Dissent; the representation of emotions…

The conference will be hosted conjointly by the research centres on the anglophone world of Aix-Marseille and Montpellier Universities, with Montpellier Faculty of Theology.

CFP poster

For further information about possible topics, please visit the CFP page.

For practical details and accommodation, please visit the 2016 Conference home page on this website.

To download a copy of the CFP poster, please click here.

Members of the IJBS are of course very welcome to propose papers specifically on John Bunyan, and his legacy, that fit the general theme.

Applicants are invited to send proposals for 30-minute papers or for panels (3 x 30-minute papers). Please include a title for the paper; a summary of no more than 300 words; a 100-word biographical outline; and a one-page CV.

Bursaries are available for doctoral students and young researchers. To apply, explain your need for support, your likely travel costs, and include a reference letter (from e.g. a supervisor). See our Bursaries page.

Send all proposals and communications (Word documents only, no pdf) to: voicingdissentconference@gmail.com

Deadline: 31 May 2015

All answers by August 2015

ORGANISERS: Dr Paula Barros (Montpellier), Prof. Luc Borot (Montpellier), Prof. Anne Dunan-Page (Aix-Marseille), Prof. Pierre Lurbe (Montpellier), Dr Laurence Lux-Sterritt (Aix-Marseille), Prof. Jean Viviès (Aix-Marseille).

ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Prof. Margaret S. Breen (Connecticut, US); Prof. Sylvia Brown (Alberta, Canada); Prof. Vera Camden (Kent State, US); Dr Nathalie Collé-Bak (Lorraine, France); Dr Laurent Curelly (Mulhouse, France); Dr Michael Davies (Liverpool, UK); Prof. Françoise Deconinck-Brossard (Paris Ouest Nanterre, la Défense); Dr Rémy Duthille (Bordeaux-Montaigne, France); Prof. Katsuhiro Engetsu (Doshisha, Japan); Prof. David Gay (Alberta, Canada); Prof. Isabel Hofmeyr (Witwatersrand, South Africa); Prof. Jeffrey Hopes (Le Mans, France); Dr Galen Johnson (Ashford, US); Prof. N. H. Keeble (Stirling, UK); Prof. Thomas Luxon (Dartmouth, US); Prof. W. R. Owens (Bedfordshire, UK); Dr Roger Pooley (Keele, UK); Prof. Stuart Sim (Sunderland, UK); Prof. Nigel Smith (Princeton, US); Dr Tamsin Spargo (Liverpool John Moores, UK); Prof. David Walker (Northumbria, UK); Prof. Arlette Zinck (King’s College, Canada).