Members’ Publications


The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, vol. i: The Post-Reformation Era, c.1559-c.1689

Edited by John Coffey

John Coffey OUP 2020This collection reassesses the relationship between establishment and dissent, emphasizing that Presbyterians and Congregationalists were serious contenders in the struggle for religious hegemony. Under Elizabeth I and the early Stuarts, dissent was largely contained within the Church of England, as nonconformists sought to reform the national Church from within. During the English Revolution (1640–60), Puritan reformers seized control of the state but splintered into rival factions with competing programmes of ecclesiastical reform. Only after the Restoration, following the ejection of 2,000 Puritan clergy from the Church, did most Puritans become Dissenters, often with great reluctance. Dissent was not the inevitable terminus of Puritanism, but the contingent and unintended consequence of the Puritan drive for further reformation. Nevertheless, in the half-century after 1640, religious pluralism became a fact of English life, as denominations formed and toleration was widely advocated. The volume explores how Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, and Quakers began to forge distinct identities as the four major denominational traditions of English Dissent. It tracks the proliferation of Anglophone Protestant Dissent beyond England—in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Dutch Republic, New England, Pennsylvania, and the Caribbean. And it presents the latest research on the culture of Dissenting congregations, including their relations with the parish, their worship, preaching, gender relations, and lay experience.

Disavowing Disability: Richard Baxter and the Conditions of Salvation

By Andrew McKendry

Richard Baxter diability front coverDisavowing Disability examines the role that disability, both as a concept and an experience, played in seventeenth-century debates about salvation and religious practice. Exploring how the use and definition of the term ‘disability’ functioned to allocate agency and culpability, this study argues that the post-Restoration imperative to capacitate ‘all men’—not just the ‘elect’—entailed a conceptual circumscription of disability, one premised on a normative imputation of capability. The work of Richard Baxter, sometimes considered a harbinger of ‘modernity’ and one of the most influential divines of the Long Eighteenth Century, elucidates this multifarious process of enabling. In constructing an ideology of ability that imposed moral self-determination, Baxter encountered a germinal form of the ‘problem’ of disability in liberal theory. While a strategy of ‘inclusionism’ served to assimilate most manifestations of alterity, melancholy presented an intractability that frustrated the logic of rehabilitation in fatal ways.

Textual Transformations: Purposing and Repurposing Books from Richard Baxter to Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Edited by Tessa Whitehouse and N. H. Keeble

Textual Transformations OUPThis collection brings together original essays by an international team of eminent scholars in the field of book history that explore these various kinds of textual inconstancy and variability. The essays are alive to the impact of commercial and technological aspects of book production and distribution (discussing, for example, the career of the pre-eminent bookseller John Nourse, the market appeal of abridgements, and the financial incentives to posthumous publication), but their interest is also in the many additional forms of agency that shaped texts and their meanings as books were repurposed to articulate, and respond to, a variety of cultural and individual needs. They engage with early modern religious, political, philosophical, and scholarly trends and debates as they discuss a wide range of genres and kinds of publication including fictional and non-fictional prose, verse miscellanies, abridgements, sermons, religious controversy, and of authors including Lucy Hutchinson, Richard Baxter, John Dryden, Thomas Burnet, John Tillotson, Henry Maundrell, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Richardson, John Wesley, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The result is a richly diverse collection that demonstrates the embeddedness of the book trade in the cultural dynamics of early modernity.

‘She Being Dead Yet Speaketh’: The Franklin Family Papers

Edited by Vera J. Camden

On Black Bartholomew’s Day—August 24, 1662—nearly two thousand ministers denied the authority of the Church of England and were subsequently removed from their posts. Mary Franklin was the wife of Presbyterian minister Robert Franklin, one of the dissenting ministers ejected from their pulpits and their livings on that day. She recorded the experience of her persecution in the unused pages of her husband’s sermon notebook. In 1782—some hundred years after the composition of her grandmother’s narrative— Mary’s granddaughter, Hannah Burton, took up this same notebook to chronicle her experience as an impoverished widow, barely surviving the economic revolutions of eighteenth-century London. Collected for the first time, this volume of the Franklin Family Papers offers rare insight into the personal lives of three generations of dissenting women.

Mary Franklin front coverFeatures:

  • The first scholarly edition of the family papers of Mary Franklin and Hannah Burton.
  • Comprehensive and accessible introduction which provides textual, critical, historical, literary analysis of these papers.
  • Provides historical insight, including previously unpublished statements from the Monmouth martyrs, into the lived experience of two nonconformist women in the seventeenth and eighteenth century.
  • Includes over 35 detailed images of manuscript pages and contemporary maps.

People and Piety: Protestant Devotional Identities in Early Modern England

Edited by Elizabeth Clarke and Robert W. Daniel

This international and interdisciplinary volume investigates Protestant devotional identities in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Divided into two sections, the book examines the ‘sites’ where these identities were forged – the academy, printing house, household, theatre and prison – and the ‘types’ of texts that expressed them – spiritual autobiographies, religious poetry and writings tied to the ars moriendi – providing a broad analysis of social, material and literary forms of devotion during England’s Long Reformation. Through archival and cutting-edge research, a detailed picture of ‘lived religion’ emerges, which re-evaluates the pietistic acts and attitudes of well-known and recently discovered figures. To those studying and teaching religion and identity in early modern England, and anyone interested in the history of religious self-expression, these chapters offer a rich and rewarding read.

front cover people and pietyFeatures:

  • Contributions from internationally recognised and established scholars from either side of the Atlantic.
  • Fourteen original essays featuring innovative research into familiar and recently discovered religious figures, their manuscripts, works and networks.
  • Suitable for university curricula encompassing early modern British history, politics, literature, material culture, theatre and religion.

John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress

Illustrated by William Blake and Introduction by Nathalie Collé

folio societyThis limited edition includes a new introduction by Nathalie Collé, a renowned specialist in both 17th-century English literature and the history of book illustration, and a former editor of the newsletter of the International John Bunyan Society. In her essay, Collé reveals the sophisticated way in which William Blake responded to, and went beyond Bunyan’s tale, to create his own idiosyncratic but extremely unified series of images.

Blake’s illustrations for The Pilgrim’s Progress were never united with Bunyan’s text during his lifetime and were still unfinished when he died in 1827. In the 1940s an edition appeared in America, but all 28 illustrations have not been published with the text since, and this is the only current edition to unite words and images. Finished with red head- and tail-bands, a red ribbon marker and gilded top page edges, this is a unique publication, an exquisite edition of a timeless classic, limited to just 750 hand-numbered copies and available only from The Folio Society.

Amazing Love! How Can It Be: Studies on Hymns by Charles Wesley

Edited by Chris Fenner and Brian G. Najapfour 

wesley hymnsThe present collection of essays examines specific texts by Charles Wesley in multiple dimensions (theological, poetical, historical, biographical, etc.), demonstrating both the profound nature of the hymns and their continued relevance for Christians today. The discussions are organized by theological/liturgical topics, and each essay treats us to the hymn in its complete original form (noting significant variants as necessary), explains the historical context of its composition, provides a theological interpretation, and relates it to the life and faith of the believer.

In the pages of this book, the reader will find both information and inspiration. Scholars of hymnody and of Charles Wesley will appreciate the depth of inquiry in the chapters. Just as importantly, laypersons and hymn lovers (as well as scholars) will find much spiritual benefit from the study of hymns they know and love, as well as texts with which they may be less familiar. This exploration of these profound hymns will surely lead to a deeper understanding of the “amazing love” responsible for changing the course of Charles Wesley’s life, who in turn changed the course of Christian worship.

The Collected Prayers of John Knox

Edited by Brian G. Najapfour 

john knox prayersCome and take a look inside the prayers of the famous Scottish Reformer John Knox. One of the largest oppositions to his ministry, Queen Mary of the Scots is said to have said, ‘I fear John Knox’s prayers more than all the assembled armies of Europe.’ John Knox was one of the Reformation’s greatest prayer warriors, famous for crying out to God and praying, ‘Give me Scotland, Lord, or I die!’. Various prayers of Knox from six varying themes make up this book.

Richard Baxter: Reliquiæ Baxterianæ

Edited by N. H. Keeble, John Coffey, Tim Cooper, and Tom Charlton

Richard Baxter’s Reliquiæ Baxterianæ (1696) is a key text for early modern historical, ecclesiastical, cultural, literary, and bibliographical studies but in its original printed form it is textually defective in a number of ways and, lacking structural coherence or adequate indexes, the wealth of historical data and immediately observed experiences during the Civil Wars, Interregnum, and Restoration period in its 800 pages are very difficult to access. It is similarly challenging to follow the compelling case that Baxter mounts to vindicate moderate Puritanism against the misrepresentations of the prevailing royalist narratives published in the later seventeenth-century, culminating in Clarendon’s History of the Rebellion. No other work from the period articulates so fully this much maligned tradition, and no other example of life writing so fully explores the relationship between public affairs and personal spiritual and emotional experience. The result is not only a unique primary source but also a fascinating combination of autobiography, historiography, and apologetic in a work crucial to our understanding of the development of modern narrative genres.

richard baxter editionFeatures:

  • The first scholarly edition of this work, presenting a full and reliable text, derived from the manuscript where this is extant.
  • Enables an accurate understanding and appreciation of this unique early modern text and primary historical source.
  • Includes full supporting editorial apparatus: textual, critical, expository, historical, and literary.
  • Reveals the wealth of Baxter’s reference to hundreds of persons (many never before identified), historical sources and texts, and contemporary events.
  • Accompanied by extensive general and textual introductions.

Church Life: Pastors, Congregations, and the Experience of Dissent in Seventeenth-Century England

Edited by Michael Davies, Anne Dunan-Page and Joel Halcomb

Church Life: Pastors, Congregations, and the Experience of Dissent in Seventeenth-Century England addresses the rich, complex, and varied nature of ‘church life’ experienced by England’s Baptists, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians during the seventeenth century. Spanning the period from the English Revolution to the Glorious Revolution, and beyond, the contributors examine the social, political, and religious character of England’s ‘gathered’ churches and reformed parishes: how pastors and their congregations interacted; how Dissenters related to their meetings as religious communities; and what the experience of church life was like for ordinary members as well as their ministers, including notably John Owen and Richard Baxter alongside less well-known figures, such as Ebenezer Chandler.

church life title pageFeatures:

  • Considers the history and religious culture of seventeenth-century Dissent from the perspective of the kinds of ‘church life’ shaped and experienced not just by Dissenting ministers but also ordinary church members.
  • Redefines the ‘experience of Dissent’ in collective and communal terms, rather than as something characterized solely by individual ‘religious experience’, notably conversion.
  • Features ten original contributions by internationally recognized scholars who are experts in the fields of seventeenth-century history, literature, and religion.

The Oxford Handbook of John Bunyan

Edited by Michael Davies and W. R. Owens

The Oxford Handbook of John Bunyan is the most extensive volume of original essays ever published on the seventeenth-century Nonconformist preacher and writer. Its thirty-eight chapters examine Bunyan’s life and works, their religious and historical contexts, and the critical reception of his writings, in particular his allegorical narrative, The Pilgrim’s Progress. Interdisciplinary and comprehensive, it provides unparalleled scope and expertise, ranging from literary theory to religious history and from theology to post-colonial criticism.

Oxford Handbook


  • Presents thirty-eight original chapters by internationally recognized scholars from around the globe.
  • Examines Bunyan’s life and works, their literary, religious, and historical significance, and the critical reception of his writings, in particular his famous allegory of the Christian life, The Pilgrim’s Progress.
  • Divided into four sections (Contexts; Works; Directions in Criticism; Journeys) this Handbook is easy to navigate and clear in rationale.

Vanity Fair and the Celestial City:

Dissenting, Methodist, and Evangelical Literary Culture in England 1720-1800

by Isabel Rivers

In John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, the pilgrims cannot reach the Celestial City without passing through Vanity Fair, where everything is bought and sold. In recent years there has been much analysis of commerce and consumption in Britain during the long eighteenth century, and of the dramatic expansion of popular publishing. Similarly, much has been written on the extraordinary effects of the evangelical revivals of the eighteenth century in Britain, Europe, and North America. But how did popular religious culture and the world of print interact? It is now known that religious works formed the greater part of the publishing market for most of the century. What religious books were read, and how? Who chose them? How did they get into people’s hands? Vanity Fair and the Celestial City is the first book to answer these questions in detail.



  • Offers the first detailed account of the writing, editing, publishing, and distribution of popular religious books by evangelical dissenters, Methodists, and Church of England evangelicals in the period 1720 to 1800.

  • Brings together the methods and approaches of religious history, book history, literary history, and the history of reading.