Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mary Morrissey Publishes Book on Paul's Cross

Mary Morrissey, a Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Reading and a member of the Advisory Board for the Virtual Paul's Cross Project, has recently published a new book from the Oxford University Press called Politics and the Paul's Cross Sermons, 1558-1642.

This is a splendid book, from which I've already learned much that is of vital importance for our project. In a relatively slim volume, Dr Morrissey covers an enormous amount of material and presents it clearly, thoughtfully, and engagingly.

The publisher's account suggests the scope of her work:

This book "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 . . . can be described."

 Its good to have Mary on the Advisory Board.

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