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John H. Arnold and Peter Biller

Part IV: Sermons Introduction to Part IV For those interested in seeing how ‘heresy’ was constructed rhetorically by orthodoxy, sermons are an invaluable source. They were always very consciously directed towards an audience (even if the specific nature of that audience is often now impossible to recapture) 1 and some sermon collections were copied and circulated very widely (and particular stories extracted and circulated even more widely), making them the closest thing the medieval period had to ‘mass media’. 2 One

in Heresy and inquisition in France, 1200-1300
Margret Fetzer

1 Pulpit performances – Sermons We pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (2 Cor. 5.20) This short verse epitomises the major purpose of Donne’s sermons. Humankind’s reconciliation with God is their central concern. There were two major channels through which such a conversion might be achieved: the sermon and the Eucharist. Despite their interrelatedness, homiletic and ritual elements of the early modern English service did not readily coexist – which is why an analysis of how Donne’s sermons combine homiletics with ritual starts off my

in John Donne’s Performances
Arnold Hunt

Chapter 8 . The succession in sermons, news and rumour Arnold Hunt S ermons on the succession, in late Elizabethan England, might be thought to be conspicuous by their absence. It would have been a bold preacher who dealt openly with the succession question from the pulpit. The Treasons Act of 1571, which prohibited ‘contentious and seditious spreading abroad of titles to the succession to the crown’, did not necessarily prevent preachers from handling the subject in general terms, without naming names – and, as we shall see, some did precisely that – but most

in Doubtful and dangerous
Margaret Christian

64 3 Allegorical reading in sermon references to history and current events The writers of Accession Day liturgies, as we saw in the previous chapter, discovered in stories of Josiah, Hezekiah, and David allegorical versions of the achievements and adventures of their own Queen Elizabeth. In doing so, they followed traditions of biblical interpretation traceable back to the writers of the New Testament. The traditional view of history – not the only one current at the time, but the one allowing Bible stories to signify sixteenth-century events – was articulated

in Spenserian allegory and Elizabethan biblical exegesis
Lauren Cantos

Maternal breastfeeding was frequently characterised as a providential and a ‘natural’ practice in early modern sermons, domestic guidebooks, and other prescriptive literature. Providence during this period was understood as God’s knowledge about and involvement in both ordinary and extraordinary events. 1 The notion of breastfeeding as evidence of providence recurred as an explanation for the formation of breast milk as well as the ability to breastfeed. These writings essentially argued

in Religion and life cycles in early modern England
Samuel Clarke and the Trinity
Robert G. Ingram

Chapter 3 Philosophy-lectures or the Sermon on the Mount: Samuel Clarke and the Trinity C hristianity differentiates itself from other Western monotheisms in holding that God took human form and died to atone for human sins. Belief in Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice is essential to salvation: ‘He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God’ (John 3:18). Yet precisely what it meant to be ‘the only begotten Son of God’ was a question which

in Reformation without end
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Maximilian Diesenberger

11 An admonition too far? The sermon De cupiditate by Ambrose Autpertus Maximilian Diesenberger In her groundbreaking book The Penitential State, Mayke de Jong points out the significance of admonition in Carolingian society: ‘From Charlemagne’s reign onwards … moral warning, or admonitio, as it was usually called, pervaded public discourse.’1 Prior to Charlemagne, moral admonition was practised almost exclusively by bishops and abbots. This chapter focuses on the admonition of an abbot of Frankish origin who came from southern France and made his monastic

in Religious Franks
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The Court Sermons of James II
William Gibson

This article considers the sermons preached by royal chaplains at the court of James II and the organisation of the chapel royal by James as a Catholic organisation. In doing so, it addresses the question of where James’s assurance and certainty came from that he was ruling as God wished him to do. The evidence presented here is that James organised his Catholic chapel royal to be a conscious source of guidance and support. His chaplains reciprocated by addressing him as a Catholic king whose duty was to bring to heel a recalcitrant and stubborn people. His chaplains used historical precedent and theological argument to press on James his determination to bring his Protestant subjects to obedience. This is a study of the Catholic milieu of James’s court and of the theological impetus behind his rule.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
A context for The Faerie Queene

Edmund Spenser and the first readers of The Faerie Queene routinely heard their national concerns—epidemics, political plotting, recent Tudor history—discussed in biblical terms. This book samples contemporary sermons, homilies, and liturgies to demonstrate that religious rhetoric, with its routine use of biblical types (for Elizabeth, the Spanish threat, and Mary Stuart, among many others) trained Spenser’s original readers to understand The Faerie Queene’s allegorical method. Accordingly, the first three chapters orient the reader to allegorical and typological reading in biblical commentary, occasional liturgies, and sermons. This pulpit literature illuminates many episodes and characters within the poem, and subsequent chapters discuss some of these. For instance, the genealogies Guyon and Arthur discover in Book Two parallel sermon lists of Elizabeth’s kingly forebears as well as biblical commentary on the genealogies provided for Jesus in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Florimell’s adventures in Books Three and Four, like contemporary marriage sermons, develop an allegory of the superiority of marriage over the single state. Likewise, the preachers’ treatment of the Northern Rebellion and the threat posed by Mary Stuart show biblical typology in the service of nationalism, much as the allegory of Book Six finds a way to celebrate Elizabeth’s execution of her cousin. In these cases, as in the Souldan episode, Book Six’s analysis of courtesy, and the Mutability Cantos, Elizabethan religious rhetoric lends support to traditional readings of the poem, indicating that Spenser’s original readers probably found The Faerie Queene less conflicted and subversive than many do today.