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

REGISTRATION

Registration for the IJBS Triennial Conference is still open. Using the Conference Portal you can select your registration fee and add any optional extras, including accommodation and the Conference Dinner. Please note that both of these options have a limited number of spaces available and will therefore be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

FINAL PROGRAMME

The Final Conference Programme is also now available to view and download. Alongside the conference’s panels, plenaries and public lecture, a series of exciting excursions and activates has also been planned. If you need any further information, particularly regarding accessibility or travel, or have a question about the programme, please contact Dr Robert W. Daniel at IJBSSecretary@outlook.com.

“Caprichio’s and Whimseys”: Hugh Peter in the Pulpit

As part of the IJBS Blog Series, Professor Alan Marshall (@johnalan57) examines the dramatic pulpit techniques deployed by the influential Parliamentarian preacher and polemicist, Hugh Peter.

Hugh Peter was a key Parliamentary figure of the 1640s and 1650s, and someone who was often dismissed as: “the grande Canale or common shore of all Phanatical principles.”1 Yet while his career was full of publicity and noise (not always, it must be said, to his actual regret), in the pulpit Peter had an impressive verbal and visual technique, as well as a singular ability to hold an audience.2 This fact raises two questions: what was Peter’s style of pulpit delivery and why did he use humour to make his points?

Peter’s use of his pulpit techniques began with an already well-developed neo-apocalyptic style at St Sepulchre in Holborn in the 1620s. Whatever his other character faults he proved a capable, successful, energetic and popular preacher thereafter. Of course, his expressed opinions on many contemporary political and religious matters also drew upon him the wrong sort of attention.

Peter’s skills as a preacher were learned at Cambridge University, with training in the scholastic and Ramist methodology in logic that was mostly commonly to be found in his sermons, in his analysis of scripture, and in his published works. He further developed these skills whilst living in the Low Countries and New England. His Royalist critics would later deride Peter as intellectually limited, and subject to base emotional urges, yet he was far from being the ignorant buffoon they sought to portray.3

Scurrilous portrait of Hugh Peter from the broadside, Don Pedro de Quixot, or in English the right reverend Hugh Peters (London, 1660). Held at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
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Cry Havoc or Sing: Battle Songs of the British Civil Wars (Part Two)

As part of the IJBS Blog Series, Dr Robert W. Daniel (@BunyanSociety), General Secretary of the IJBS and Managing Editor of Bunyan Studies, explores the occasions and motivations for psalm-singing on the battlefield during the British Civil Wars.

While Part One of this blog post explored the printed examples of battlefield psalm singing by the ‘Roundheads’, Part Two focuses on manuscript accounts and the Royalist reaction to these songs. Several diaries – penned by parliamentarian preachers, supporters and soldiers – recorded the use of psalm chanting during military combat in the 1640s and 1650s. Taken together, these accounts show how the opening of Psalm 68 was a popular choice to boom out during the internecine fighting. The Bradford clothier Joseph Lister (1627–1709) reported that foot soldiers under Sir Thomas Fairfax during the Battle of Leeds (23 January 1643) had ‘sung the 1 verse of the 68 Psalm, Let God arise, and then his enemies shall be scattered’. Finding it suitably inspiring, Lister relays that ‘they sung another like verse’ and ‘the enemy fled into the houses’. [1]

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Cry Havoc or Sing: Battle Songs of the British Civil Wars (Part One)

As part of the IJBS Blog Series, Dr Robert W. Daniel (@BunyanSociety), General Secretary of the IJBS and Managing Editor of Bunyan Studies, explores the occasions of and motivations for psalm singing on the battlefield during the British Civil Wars.

Despite the fact that the singing of psalms during combat had been a royal practice, with their first recorded use during the reign of Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt (1415), its employment by soldiers was argued to be widespread within, if not idiosyncratic to, the parliamentarian army during the British Civil Wars.[1] But how did this come to be? This two part blog post explores the battles (where psalms were sung) and texts (that inspired or recorded this activity) of the 1640s and early 1650s.[2]

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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)