Seminar in Dissenting Studies

Seminar in Dissenting Studies, the Lecture Hall, Dr Williams’s Library, 14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR. All are welcome.

Wednesday 11 February 2015 5.15 to 6.45 pm

 Anthony Ossa-Richardson (Queen Mary University of London), ‘Dissenting Gospels: Edward Harwood’s A Liberal Translation of the New Testament

This paper focuses on Edward Harwood’s English translation of the New Testament, published in 1768. The translation has long incurred mockery and opprobrium for its stylistic eccentricity, since it attempts to mimic the polite literature of the mid-eighteenth century, an incongruous effect for any used to the solemn rhythms of the King James Version. Behind this facade, however, lay a rigorous effort to refigure the Bible according to the principles of Arian theology, and Harwood’s contemporaries, both in Britain and on the Continent, were fully aware of this strategy. This paper, then, situates the translation against (1) Harwood’s wider intellectual activity, including his theological works and his textual criticism, (2) dissenting biblical scholarship of the eighteenth century, and (3) his hostile readers, who included both orthodox critics from Scotland and the Netherlands, and the English Socinian writer William Hazlitt, Sr.

 Anthony Ossa-Richardson is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Queen Mary University of London. His primary research interest is early modern (c. 1600-1800) intellectual history, including religion, hermeneutics, literature and philosophy. He has published The Devil’s Tabernacle: The Pagan Oracles in Early Modern Thought (2013), and is now working towards a monograph on the history of the concept of ambiguity in a range of fields from the Renaissance to the twentieth century.

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For more information about the Seminar in Dissenting Studies contact James Vigus ( or see:

OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
Anne Page (January 29, 2015). Seminar in Dissenting Studies. Dissenting Experience. Retrieved July 17, 2024 from

Anne Page

Anne Dunan-Page is Professor of early modern British studies at Aix-Marseille University

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