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Religion in Romantic England
An Anthology of Primary Sources

Edited by Jeffrey W. Barbeau

Religion in Romantic England
Hardback, 506 pages $69.95
Published: 15th March 2018
ISBN: 9781481307222
Format: 10in x 7in

Subjects: All History, Church History, Religion & Literature

Religion in Romantic England explores the ways that the literature of English Christianity shaped the social, cultural, political, and religious life of the nation in texts published between 1760 and 1832. 

From the accession of George III and the expansion of Methodism in the late eighteenth century to the Reform Bill and the beginning of the Oxford Movement of the early nineteenth, this anthology reveals how theological ideas and ecclesial movements influenced one of the most widely studied periods in English literature and history. These tumultuous decades brought religious revival in evangelical preaching and spirituality, controversial responses to the French Revolution, the abolition of the slave trade, the struggle over Roman Catholic emancipation, the proliferation of missionary societies, and intellectual battles over the nature of God, the Bible, faith, church authority, and religious pluralism.

Religious writers in the Romantic period range from poets and preachers to pamphleteers and theologians. In ten thematic chapters tracing pivotal developments in belief and practice, Religion in Romantic England guides readers in understanding the major historical and theological issues that contributed to the literary, educational, and political movements of the era. These judicious selections, drawn from a diverse body of luminaries—including William Carey, Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, Joseph Priestley, Hannah More, Percy Shelley, and William Wilberforce, among many others—introduce newcomers and established readers alike to the ideas, controversies, and hopes that continue to affect our common life to this day.

Historical Timeline
Abbreviations for Works Commonly Cited
Part I. Divinity
William Jones: Trinity in Unity
“A letter to the common people in answer to some popular arguments
against the Trinity” (1767)
Joseph Priestley: One God
An appeal to the serious and candid professors of Christianity (1770)
William Hazlitt: Mission of Jesus
Human authority, in matters of faith, repugnant to Christianity (1774)
Thomas Scott: Faith in Christ
The force of truth (1779)
Samuel Horsley: Antiquity
A charge, delivered to the clergy of the archdeaconry of St Albans (1783)
Percy Bysshe Shelley: Atheism
The necessity of atheism (1811)
Renn Dickson Hampden: Mystery
“Knowledge of God through Christ” (1828)
Part II. Faith
George Whitefield: Repentance
“The Good Shepherd: a farewell sermon” (1769)
Augustus Toplady: Predestination
More work for Mr. Wesley (1771)
John Fletcher: Free Grace
The first part of an equal check to pharisaism and antinomianism (1774)
Joseph Milner: Salvation in Christ
“An affectionate address to seamen” (1797)
Southwood Smith: Divine Government
Illustrations of the divine government (1816)
Edward Copleston: Fatalism
An enquiry into the doctrines of necessity and predestination (1821)
Julius Charles Hare: Light and Darkness
“The children of light” (1828)
Part III. Canon
Sarah Trimmer: Two Books
An easy introduction to the knowledge of nature, and reading the Holy Scriptures (1780)
Herbert Marsh: Prayer Books
An inquiry into the consequences of neglecting to give the Prayer Book with the Bible (1812)
Isaac Milner: Bible Societies
Strictures on some of the publications of the Rev. Herbert Marsh (1813)
Peter Gandolphy: Rule of Faith
A defence of the ancient faith (1813)
Edward Hawkins: Scripture and Tradition
A dissertation upon the use and importance of unauthoritative tradition (1819)
Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck: Spiritual Interpretation
Biblical fragments (1821)
Edward Irving: Living Word
For the oracles of God . . . For judgment to come (1823)
Connop Thirlwall: Biblical Inspiration
“Introduction by the translator” (1825)
Part IV. Doubt
George Horne: Miracles
Letters on infidelity (1784)
William Wilberforce: Unbelief
A practical view of the prevailing religious system of professed Christians (1797)
Robert Hall: Infidelity
Modern infidelity (1800)
William Paley: Evil
Natural theology (1802)
Richard Whately: Miracles and Testimony
Historic doubts relative to Napoleon Buonaparte (1819)
Jeremy Bentham: Pain and the Afterlife
Analysis of the influence of natural religion on the temporal happiness of mankind (1822)
Hugh James Rose: Faith and Reason
The state of the Protestant religion in Germany (1825)
V. Enthusiasm
William Law: Spiritual Life
An humble, earnest, and affectionate address to the clergy (1761)
William Warburton: Divine Grace
The doctrine of grace (1762)
William Romaine: Spirit and Conscience
The walk of faith (1771)
John Foster: Evangelical Intellect
“On the aversion of men of taste to evangelical religion” (1805)
Leigh Hunt: Dangers of Methodism
“An attempt to show the folly and danger of Methodism” (1808)
Hannah More: Heart Religion
Practical piety (1811)
Joanna Southcott: Prophecies
Prophecies announcing the birth of the Prince of Peace (1814)
Joseph John Gurney: Pure Christianity
Sermons and prayers (1832)
VI. Psalms
Charles Wesley: Family Hymns
Hymns for the use of families (1767)
John Newton and William Cowper: Light Revealed
Olney hymns (1779)
William Wordsworth: English Church
Ecclesiastical sketches (1822)
James Montgomery: Christian Hymnody
The Christian psalmist (1825)
John Keble: Nature’s Praise
The Christian year (1827)
Felicia Hemans: Divine Mysteries
Records of woman (1828)
Part VII. Morals
Henry Venn: Marriage
The complete duty of man (1763)
Soame Jenyns: Christian Virtue
A view of the internal evidence of the Christian religion (1776)
Thomas Clarkson: Slavery
An essay on the slavery and commerce of the human species (1786)
John Wesley: Holy Living
“The more excellent way” (1787)
Mary Wollstonecraft: Creation
Original stories from real life (1788)
Adam Clarke: Tobacco
A dissertation on the use and abuse of tobacco (1797)
Robert Malthus: Chastity
An essay on the principle of population (1803)
Part VIII. Nation
Samuel Palmer: English Dissent
The Protestant dissenter’s catechism (1772)
William Stevens: Spiritual Authority
A treatise on the nature and constitution of the Christian church (1773)
George Dyer: Religious Subscription
An inquiry into the nature of subscription to the Thirty-Nine Articles (1789)
Edmund Burke: Established Church
Reflections on the revolution in France (1790)
Thomas Paine: Toleration
Rights of man (1791)
Anna Letitia Barbauld: National Repentance
Sins of government, sins of the nation (1793)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Christian Church
On the constitution of the church and state (1830)
Part IX. Papacy
Charles Butler: Catholic Relief
An address to the Protestants of Great Britain and Ireland (1813)
John Milner: Papal Authority
The end of religious controversy (1818)
Joseph Blanco White: Catholic Tyranny
The poor man’s preservative against popery (1825)
William Poynter: Christian Obedience
Declaration of the Catholic bishops (1826)
Thomas Hartwell Horne: Rome
Romanism contradictory to the Bible (1827)
Thomas Arnold: Irish Catholicism
The Christian duty of granting the claims of the Roman Catholics (1829)
Part X. Outsiders
Joseph White: Christianity and Islam
A comparison of Mahometism and Christianity (1784)
William Knox: Native Americans
“Of the Indians in the colonies” (1789)
William Carey: Missionary Call
An enquiry into the obligations of Christians (1792)
Thomas Coke: Methodism in Africa
An interesting narrative of a mission (1812)
William Carus Wilson: Heathen Cruelty
The children’s friend (1826)
Reginald Heber: Missions in India
Narrative of a journey through the upper provinces of India (1828)
Francis Henry Goldsmid: Jewish Emancipation
Remarks on civil disabilities of the British Jews (1830)

"An outstanding anthology. We should be grateful to Barbeau for his judicious and illuminating selection of texts. The book constitutes a most discriminating guide to the religion of this momentous period of thought in the English-speaking world."

—Douglas Hedley, Professor of the Philosophy of Religion, University of Cambridge

"Religion in Romantic England provides source materials essential to any student or scholar interested not only in religion but also in literary, political, and cultural developments. Selections from Wilberforce, Paley, Bentham, Law, Wesley, Wollstonecraft, Burke, Paine, Barbauld, Coleridge, Hemans, Keble, and a score more create a rich, full picture. Barbeau’s introduction provides excellent, highly informative context. No student or scholar of the Romantic Age should be without this volume, and every college and research library should have it on its shelves and in its digital resources."

—James Engell, Gurney Professor of English and Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University

"Past efforts to relate literature to contemporary religious discourse have been frustrated because the relevant texts have been inaccessible. Jeffrey Barbeau’s anthology not only furnishes the ready access readers have needed, it also provides a chronology and a historical overview of the religious strife, dissenting factions, and theological quarrels. Surveying the developments from the advent of Methodism to the Oxford Movement, Barbeau’s anthology enriches our understanding of the history and the literature of the period."

—Frederick Burwick, Professor Emeritus of English, University of California, Los Angeles

“The first of its kind, Religion in Romantic England is an excellent resource for students and scholars alike who are interested in the contours of the religious experience in this time and place.”

—Eric Bontempo, Reading Religion

Jeffrey W. Barbeau is Professor of Theology at Wheaton College.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 506 pages
 10in x 7in

  HIS015000, REL015000, REL070000
 Baylor University Press

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