Religion in Enlightenment England

An Anthology of Primary Sources

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Editor(s): 
Jayne Elizabeth Lewis
Documents of Anglophone Christianity
  • Waco, TX: 
    Baylor University Press
    , July
     2017.
     420 pages.
     $59.95.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9781602583009.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

Religion in Enlightenment England introduces its readers to a rich array of British Christian texts published between 1660 and 1750. The anthology documents the arc of Christian writings from the reestablishment of the Church of England to the rise of the Methodist movement in the middle of the eighteenth century. The Enlightenment era witnessed the explosion of mass print culture and the unprecedented expansion of literacy across society. These changes transformed many inherited Christian genres—such as the sermon and the devotional manual—while also generating new ones, from the modern church hymn to spiritual autobiography.

The authors included in this collection confronted the rise of modern science and forged new rules of modern toleration. Their writing reveals the unprecedented spiritual authority assumed by women and how emotion moved to the center of religious experience. Religion in Enlightenment England captures the literary energy and excitement unleashed by the Enlightenment itself: authors engage one another in spirited dialogue that pits reason against revelation, religious conformity against dissent, innovation against tradition, and Freethinking against natural religion.

An indispensable asset for any scholar’s library, the anthology includes texts by William Law, John Bunyan, Elizabeth Singer Rowe, John and Charles Wesley, Richard Baxter, John Toland, Mary Astell, Daniel Defoe, John Norris, Margaret Fell Fox, Isaac Watts, Thomas Traherne, John Tillotson, William Penn, and Anne Conway.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jayne Elizabeth Lewis is professor of English at the University of California, Irvine.

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