Politics and the Paul's Cross Sermons, 1558-1642
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Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 272
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.6 cm
Scholars do not contest that English Reformation culture centred on 'the word preached'; that before the advent of newsbooks, sermons were the primary means available for shaping public opinion; or that the sermons of men like Lancelot Andrewes and John Donne were valued as literary works of the highest order. Throughout the Reformation period, England's most important public pulpit was Paul's Cross, which stood in the churchyard of St Paul's Cathedral in London. Politics and the Paul's Cross Sermons, 1558-1642 provides a detailed history of the Paul's Cross sermons from the reign of Elizabeth I until the destruction of the pulpit under Charles I. It explains the arrangement for the sermons' delivery and the tensions between the different authorities (the royal government, the bishops of London, and the Corporation of London) who controlled them. The increasing role that the Paul's Cross sermons played in London's civic culture after the Reformation is discussed, and an account is given of the narrowing of the sermons' audience in the years preceding the English Civil War. The book explores early modern English homiletics, so that preachers' adaptation of sermon genres to suit sermons on religious controversies or on political anniversaries (such as 5 November) can be described. The relationship between the different textual forms in which sermons are preserved is also considered.
It is a rare tribute to say of a book derived from sermon transcripts that it is an absorbing read, Yet so it is with Mary Morrissey's Politics and the Paul's Cross Sermons 1558-1642. * Euan Cameron, Church Times * Every library should have a copy of this major contribution to our understanding of the early modern sermon. * Ian Green, English Historical Review * [a] detailed and comprehensive account of Paul's Cross from mid-sixteenth to mid-seventeenth century ... Morrissey's is a model of how such case studies should be carried out ... Morrissey's command of secondary literature is impeccable, her arguments compelling, and the wealth of evidence she marshals truly remarkable. Anyone interested not only in the rise and demise of Paul's Cross but also in the larger transformations in religious culture London and England underwent between the 1550s and the 1650s will have to turn to her excellent monograph. * Paulina Kewes, The Seventeenth Century * an important addition to the fast-growing field of early modern sermon studies ... [an] erudite, lucid, and important book. * Katrin Ettenhuber, Notes and Queries * systematic and illuminating ... This satisfying and carefully researched book is a model study of the intertwining of religion and politics in early modern London. * Anthony Fletcher, History * Politics and the Pauls Cross Sermons is an important addition to the fast-growing field of early modern sermon studies ... [This is an] erudite, lucid, and important book. * Katrin Ettenhuber, Review of English Studies * Morrissey's achievement here is a substantial one ... Politics and the Paul's Cross Sermons contributes to our understanding of much more than the sermons series itself. It also brings to life the great religious controversies of the age. ... In short, this really is a must-read book for anybody interested in the literary, religious, or political cultures of early modern England; in early modern sermons; or, indeed, early modern London. We can only wait with keen anticipation to see what else Morrisey's ongoing researches into this area will uncover. * Jonathan Willis, The Sixteenth Century Journal *