A word from the President

Our Seventh Triennial Conference, directed by Nigel Smith, lasting a whole week on a Princeton campus buzzing with the sound of cicadas, and the occasional thunderstorm, was a huge success. We heard over thirty papers of great diversity and scope, including four inspiring plenaries delivered by N. H. Keeble (Stirling), Laura Knoppers (Penn. State), Paul C. H. Lim (Vanderbilt) and Cynthia Wall (Virginia). Senior scholars rubbed shoulders with a lively community of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers ; they showed us that we need have no fear for the future of Bunyan studies.

IMG_0553 - Version 2

Two of our officers retired at the business meeting on 13 August 2013 : our Secretary, Michael Davies, and our President, Nigel Smith. Both were warmly thanked for their work and dedication to the IJBS; the task for the new committee will be to rise to the challenge of meeting the standards they have set for us. You will find the membership of the 2013-2016 Executive Committee on the corresponding menu above.

After over a decade of outstanding service, the Alberta IJBS website has been replaced. We are greatly indebted to our Vice-President, David Gay, who devised and maintained it singlehandedly for so long. His diligence and impeccable record-keeping have ensured that the transition to the new website has been smooth and pain-free. This new website has been designed to improve communication between members and the general public. We hope you will find it pleasant and easy to use. Make sure you visit it on a regular basis and recommend it to others.

Finally, the IJBS’s Facebook page (click on the link on the right margin) is also thriving and offers a more informal environment where members can share news, pictures, and keep up with each other, so make sure you join us there as well !

Wishing you all a good year,

Anne Page, Aix-Marseille Université, 29 September 2013

Advertisements

A new edition of the Bunyan Church Book, 1656-1710

By Michael Davies, University of Liverpool

The purpose of this edition (currently in preparation, and forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2015) is to provide literary scholars and historians, as well as students and general readers, with a scholarly yet accessible annotated edition of A Booke Containing a Record of the Acts of a Congregation of Christ in and about Bedford: the manuscript record of the Bedford congregation’s life during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Who the congregation’s members were, how they were received and disciplined, how they survived strife and harassment, and what defined their ecclesiological principles and practices are all revealed in fascinating detail by this remarkable document.  This edition will include the Church Book’s record of meetings from 1656, when they begin to be noted, to 1710, when an off-shoot congregation was formed out of the Bedford church and established – on good terms – at Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire.  During this period, John Bunyan famously served as the congregation’s preacher and pastor, witnessing significant crises and developments both within the Bedford church and for Restoration Nonconformity more generally.

Church book

Continue reading