CFP: Religion and Literature in the Long Eighteenth Century

Religion and Literature in the Long Eighteenth Century:

approaches to genre, form, and reading practice

Chawton House Library,  Friday May 15th 2015

Keynote Speakers

Isabel Rivers (Queen Mary University of London), William Gibson (Oxford Brookes University), Jon Mee (University of York)

Recent work on dissent, evangelicalism, Methodism, secularisation, the social practices of religion, life-writing, and other topics has brought to light a wealth of material and has begun to ask new questions of so-called `religious texts’. This symposium aims to reflect on the relationships between religion and literature in the long eighteenth century and on the research approaches that can productively be used to investigate them.

The day will be organised into three consecutive panels, each focusing on a theme introduced by the keynote presentations.

Religious Reading (Isabel Rivers)

Forms and Genres (William Gibson)

Institutions and Associations (Jon Mee)

We, therefore, invite proposals for 20-minute panel papers that pertain to one or more of these themes. As a guide, some of the issues that we hope to explore during the day are:

  • The ways in which particular denominations or religious societies may have accessed and read texts;
  • The networks of connection and correspondence that shaped the writing, reading, publication, dissemination, and collection of religious texts;
  • The interrelations of and tensions between religion and literature in this period;
  • The importance of gender in this relationship;
  • Representations of religious belief or experience in poetry, drama and fiction;
  • The association of forms such as letters, diaries, essays, sermons with religion;
  • Uses of religious texts in different literary genres;
  • The relationship between religion and textual or cultural authority;
  • The intersections of literature and religion within the regulatory discourses of science, medicine, business, economics, and the law.

 Abstracts of 250 words, or inquiries, should be sent to the organisers, Stephen Bygrave or Laura Davies by February 27th 2015.

Anne Page

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

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