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Post-Reformation Preaching in the Pennines: Space, Identity and Affectivity

Bullett, Margaret (2016) Post-Reformation Preaching in the Pennines: Space, Identity and Affectivity. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

This is a social and cultural study of preaching in the post-Reformation period, approached through the themes of space, identity and affectivity. Firstly, it reveals a high level of material investment in the spaces for preaching and shows how this expressed a reformed conceptualisation of sacred space and time. Secondly, lay support for preaching is investigated as a social institution and this is contrasted with a case study of conflict caused by preaching. This reveals how preaching could foster both broad and narrow varieties of godly identity, and how these interacted with one another and a sense of local identity and community. Thirdly, sermons delivered in the Pennine area are examined to show how affective responses were encouraged in hearers. By studying preaching in these ways, new light is shed onto the experience of religion at the parish level. It is argued that a wide crosssection of the population supported the preaching of the Word of God in some way and willingly participated in sermon-centred piety. The boundary between a ‘the godly’ and others is seen to be permeable, fluid and plural, and religious conflict explained by contest over the positioning of this boundary. It is proposed that attending a sermon could be an affective experience. The ‘plain’, didactic sermons delivered in the Pennine parishes contained imagery and sensory language, with attention brought onto the body, sickness and healing. Furthermore, the divine presence in worship was located in the unfolded Word, leading to the possibility of a numinous experience during the
sacred time of preaching. Finally, some answers are provided to the long-standing conundrum of
how preaching ministers were able to fulfil their pastoral roles and maintain the parish as a unit, while at the same time admonishing their hearers, preaching predestination and nurturing the more religiously committed of their flock. It is proposed that this balancing act was less of a feat when the broader appeal of preaching-centred worship, as revealed in this study, is considered. Preachingcentred worship offered the opportunity for pious material expression, social participation and interaction, and contained affective aspects that could be appreciated at various levels.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Depositing User: Elizabeth Boulton
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 14:31
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2016 14:35
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/28714

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