David Manning
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What was devotional writing?
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Working with the understudied writings of the ‘little academy’ convened by the Ferrar family at Little Gidding (c.1631–33), this chapter explores how oral, handwritten and printed discourse became devotional by the grace of God and in the presence of God. Drawing on a hybrid blend of Humanist, post-Calvinist and Arminian influences, the Ferrars’ cerebral musings foraged the past to feed their present, as part of a cycle of theological, social and textual reappropriation. This research challenges and complements current thinking about the materiality of devotional culture. It also provides a unique insight into the trajectory of devotional endeavours from minority to mainstream, and how these were dissected and assimilated by the industrious learners at Little Gidding.

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People and piety

Protestant devotional identities in early modern England


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