The Very Picture of (Non-)Conformity(?)

As part of the IJBS Blog Series, Drew Nathaniel Keane (@dkeaneGSU) Senior Lecturer at Georgia Southern University examines, through religious iconography, the complex realities of administering the Lord’s Supper in early modern England.

This woodcut, likely familiar to any student of early modern English religion, illustrates the difficulty of sorting out the boundaries of religious conformity (see Figure 1). It first appears in Lewis Du Moulin’s The Understanding Christians Duty (1660), and then again some fourteen years later in the second edition of Eniautos (1674).[1] Although both were published after the Restoration, the woodcut appears Jacobean,[2] but regardless of when it was cut, it raises an interesting question: should the service depicted be labeled as conformist or non-conformist?

Figure 1. Anon, Eniautos. Or, A Course of Catechizing (London, 1674), p. 276. Part of a series of woodcuts illustrating the various rites and rituals of the Established Church in seventeenth-century England.      
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Enigmas in Editing Early Modern Manuscripts

As part of the IJBS Blog Series Vera J. Camden, Professor of English at Kent State University, explores the the trials and tribulations of editing the diary of the eighteenth-century Presbyterian widow of a London goldsmith, Hannah Burton.

Margaret Ezell has reflected that the survival of manuscript documents such as early modern women’s diaries are like insects in amber, occupying a ‘long since deceased literary landscape’ that yet offer a ‘continuation of that presence which survives destruction, that matter which the living are permitted still to embrace.’[1]  

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The Recorder 2021

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

The annual IJBS newsletter The Recorder will be composited together close to the end of the summer, and is still looking for more pieces. We already have an excellent portion of content, but more pieces are always appreciated. Please share more of what you’re writing, reading, and hearing about.

We are happy to accept entries throughout July, but would prefer to receive confirmation of all entries by 30 June 2021. We’re looking for the following sorts of things, but anything in the spirit of interest to the society would be splendid: 

  • Notes
  • Short Articles
  • Meditations/reflections/strategies on teaching and researching Bunyan in the era of COVID-19
  • Reviews and/or descriptions of recent publications (yours or others’)
  • Reports on past and upcoming events (including the upcoming tenth triennial IJBS conference)
  • Calls for papers
  • Book and media reviews that have direct or indirect relevance to Non-conformist writing (if not already consigned for Bunyan Studies)
  • Interviews
  • Dissertations and post-doctoral research (abstracts, announcements, etc.)

We are especially interested in hearing about forthcoming books or edited collections! Images of all types should serve, though ones in JPG or .PNG with better resolution are preferred.

If you want to see how entries have functioned in the past, the previous issues are available at https://johnbunyansociety.org/the-newsletter/past-issues/. Please send your submissions to the following addresses, preferably with a subject heading referring to The Recorderrbergen@corpuschristi.ca; or richard.angelo.b@gmail.com.

If you have any questions, please let us know. We greatly look forward to seeing your contributions. 

Wishing safety and wellness to all!
Richard Bergen (Editor of The Recorder)

Reading Dissent and Dissenting Readers in the Reformation World, 1500-1800

The 10th Triennial Conference of the International John Bunyan Society

Northumbria University, Newcastle (UK) 7–9 July 2022

CALL FOR PAPERS

Plenary Speakers: Marie-Louise Coolahan (NUI Galway), Crawford Gribben (Queen’s University Belfast), Johanna Harris (Exeter), Nicholas Seager (Keele)

‘Reading Dissent’ is a major multi-disciplinary and international conference which seeks to investigate the multifarious ways reading proved vital, or potentially fatal, to the everyday lives of Puritans, Dissenters and/or Nonconformists, both to themselves, their households, wider communities and churches during the Long Reformation, 1500-1800.

POSSIBLE TOPICS INCLUDE:

  • Tracing manuscript readers (marginalia/interlining/erasing/re-copying/editing).
  • The buying, circulating & borrowing of prescribed/proscribed religious texts.
  • Dissenting academies/libraries (their sponsors/users/legacies).
  • Seditious reading (controversies/plots/debates/apologetics).
  • Communal reading (at conventicles/homes/prisons/chapels).
  • Ungodly reading (jestbooks/playbooks/romances/foreign histories/lewd poetry).
  • Reading the ministry (through clerical ‘lives’/diaries/church & court books/parish registers/wills).
  • Cross-confessional readers (of prayers/psalters/meditations/catechisms/devotional manuals).

Modest travel bursaries (on request via e-mail) are available for postgraduate students whose papers are accepted. Selected papers will form a special issue in the Society’s peer-reviewed journal: Bunyan Studies: The Journal of Reformation and Nonconformist Culture.

Please send a biography (100 words), along  with a CV, title and brief abstract (250-words) of a 20-minute paper, or for panels (3 x 20 minute papers) – no later than 15 September 2021 – to Dr Robert W. Daniel: IJBSSecretary@outlook.com.

For a PDF copy of this CFP click here.

2021 IJBS Early Career Essay Prize Winner

The International John Bunyan Society is pleased to announce that its 2021 Early Career Essay Prize has been awarded to Michelle Pfeffer (@michpfeffer) for the essay: ‘Mortalism and the Social Consequences of Religious Heterodoxy in Yorkshire at the Turn of the Eighteenth Century’. The winner’s certificate and cash prize of £300 has been sent to Michelle by Professor David Walker, IJBS President. The selection panel was chaired by David Walker, and its members were Rachel Adcock, David Parry and Robert W. Daniel.

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Glorious Sounds: Exploring the Soundscapes of British Nonconformity: 1550-1800

Virtual Conference, 14-15th April 2021

The International John Bunyan Society welcomes you to the Glorious Sounds: Exploring the Soundscapes of British Nonconformity: 1550-1800 – a virtual conference hosted by Northumbria University, Newcastle and organised in association with the University of Bedfordshire, Keele University, Loughborough University and the University of Warwick.

This major two day multi-disciplinary conference seeks to explore the various ways that sound impacted the lives and writings of early modern Nonconformists and, in turn, their spiritual practices. It will consider:

Hymns/sermons/prayers/catechisms.

Sacred/profane songs.

Ambient noise/s (in houses, churches, prisons).

Psychoacoustics.

Oral culture/s and reading aloud.

Early modern deafness.

Sound, suffering and trauma.

How did godly noises/speeches/music compete with and/or complement one another? Did the propinquity of households/meeting houses/churches hinder or help religious worship? How were the same prayers and sermons spoken/heard differently? Did silence, or its lack thereof, effect the delivery/auditory of God’s Word? In short, what sounds defined and defied British Nonconformity? The full conference programme can be accessed here.

Registration is free, but essential, as places are limited. For more information please visit the conference website.

2021 IJBS Early Career Essay Prize

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SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN

Deadline: 1 March 2021

The annual International John Bunyan Society (IJBS) Early Career Essay Prize recognises the cutting-edge research of junior scholars in the field of early modern religion and dissent.

Criteria:

  • The competition is open to PhD students and post-doctoral researchers up to two years after their viva.
  • To be eligible, applicants MUST be members of the IJBS. Membership enquiries/ subscriptions can be made via the Society’s UK Treasurer: r.c.adcock@keele.ac.uk.
  • Applicants can submit an essay of up to 8,000 words (e.g. part of a chapter or a draft of an article or a written version of a conference paper) by 1 March 2021 (as an email attachment). The word count includes footnotes, but excludes title, bibliography and any appendixes (which, however, should not be longer than the text of the essay).
  • The name of the author, their affiliation and their role (e.g. final-year PhD student) as well as the word count should be indicated on the title page.
  • A brief biography outlining the applicant’s current research project (150 words) is to be included.

This year the IJBS particularly welcomes contributions discussing the pastoral care, medical practices, and welfare of religious Dissenters during the Long Reformation (global perspectives are especially welcome). All submissions will be judged by members of the Society’s Executive Committee who may ask other experts to join them. Candidates will be informed of the outcome by email within a month of the submission date. The winner will be officially announced at the next Regional IJBS Conference in April 2021 (TBC) and will receive a certificate, a financial award of £300, one year’s free membership to IJBS and a year’s subscription to the Society’s peer-reviewed journal: Bunyan Studies.

Please send all submissions by 1 March 2021 to the Society’s General Secretary, Robert W. Daniel, via IJBSSecretary@outlook.com.