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Title: Sermons in print : John Tillotson and religious publishing in England c1660-1752
Author: Dixon, Rosemary
ISNI:       0000 0004 2679 9121
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2009
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John Tillotson (1630-94) was one of the most frequently published and widely read authors of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, but he remains one of the most poorly understood. This thesis provides an account of Tillotson 's place in literary and religious culture by analysing the publishing of his sermons, his reception by various constituencies of readers, and the development of his status as a canonical author. I argue that Tillotson's sermons are significant objects of literary study. Tillotson should be considered alongside not only the canonical literary authors of the late seventeenth century, but also their eighteenth-century successors. The first chapter reads Tillotson's sermons in the context of the religious debates of the late seventeenth century, showing how he contributed to anti-popish and trinitarian controversies, and discussing the strategies he used to position his sermons in print. Chapter 2 uses biographical works and print portraits to chart the development of Tillotson's posthumous reputation, and its effect on his status as an exemplary author. In the third chapter I investigate Tillotson in relation to other large sermon collections of the Restoration period, arguing that the various guides to the corpus of sermons in print encouraged readers to organise and systematise the sermons they read. Chapter 4 shows how Tillotson's sermons became part of the canon of theological works used by students and clergymen. The final chapter discusses how far this canon was extended to the laity, investigating the various formats in which the sermons were both sold and given to lay readers. The early nineteenth century saw a renewed interest in the works of both English Reformers and Caroline divines. In this context, as the concluding section shows, Tillotson became an author of historical rather than contemporary relevance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available