A New History of the Sermon

The Nineteenth Century


The latest installment in Brill’s A New History of the Sermon series offers innovative studies of sacred rhetoric in the nineteenth century. The three sections—Theory and Theology, Sermon and Society in the British Empire, and Sermon and Society in America—contain a total of sixteen essays on such topics as biblical criticism, Charles Darwin, the Oxford Movement, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), English Catholicism, sermon-novels, and the slave trade on both sides of the Atlantic. Multiple traditions are represented, including the Anglican and Presbyterian churches, English nonconformity, Judaism, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, making this a compilation that will appeal to a wide range of preachers, historians, literary scholars, and students of the rhetorical tradition.
Contributors are Miriam Elizabeth Burstein, Thomas J. Carmody, Dawn Coleman, Robert H. Ellison, Joseph Evans, Keith A. Francis, Brian Jackson, Dorothy Lander, Thomas H. Olbricht, Carol Poster, Mirela Saim, Jessica Sheetz-Nguyen, Bob Tennant, David M. Timmerman, Tamara S. Wagner, and John Wolffe.

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Robert H. Ellison, Ph.D. (1995) in English, University of North Texas, is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Marshall University. He has published on the Oxford Movement and is working on a study of the Victorian “lay sermon.”
"...The editor, Robert H. Ellison, who is himself the leading authority in this field, has clearly worked hard to include material beyond the predictable path of evangelical revivalists and Protestant city pulpits, including at least one and sometimes two chapters each on Mormons, Catholics, African Americans, and Jews..."
Timothy Larsen, Christianity Today, Books & Culture, March/April 2014
"...For readers who are seeking a collection of serious, substantial studies across a wide array of topics that are essential to any learned approach to understanding the importance of preaching in the English-speaking world of the nineteenth century, this text may be indispensable..."
William B. Lawrence, Church History, vol. 82, issue 02, June 2013, pp. 472-474
"...We can hope that the Victorian sermon will be taken up with increasing interest by both literary scholars and historians. A New History of the Sermon is a vital, exciting, and rigorous contribution to this emerging field of study."
Timothy Larsen, Victorian Studies, vol. 54, no. 1, Autumn 2011
"...While Ellison's interest in rhetoric may seem to make this collection of greatest interest to literary scholars, any historian of nineteenth-century Anglo-American religion should be able to find something useful here."
Bethany Kilcrease, Anglican and Episcopal History, December 1, 2011
"...This new volume...is a work of considerable significance for Victorianists, for while the Victorian practice of religion has long been considered a major element of nineteenth-century culture, it has not drawn fitting attention in this more secular age..."
Margaret Markwick, Review 19, 2011-08-15 (http://test.nbol-19.org/view_doc.php?index=181)
List of Illustrations
List of Contributors
Robert H. Ellison

The Tractarians’ Sermons and Other Speeches
Robert H. Ellison
Richard Whately and the Didactic Sermon
Carol Poster
The Rhetoric of Henry Ward Beecher and Frederic W. Farrar
Regarding Biblical Criticism
Tomas H. Olbricht

Missions, Slavery, and the Anglican Pulpit, 1780–1850
Bob Tennant
British Sermons on National Events
John Wolffe
Catholic Preaching in Victorian England, 1801–1901
Jessica A. Sheetz-Nguyen
Anti-Catholic Sermons in Victorian Britain
Miriam Elizabeth Burstein
Nineteenth-Century British Sermons on Evolution and The Origin of Species: The Dog That Didn’t Bark?
Keith A. Francis
The Victorian Sermon Novel: Domesticated Spirituality and the Sermon’s Sensationalization
Tamara S. Wagner

The Anti-dueling Movement
Thomas J. Carmody
The Itinerant Pulpit of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU): Teachers or Preachers?
Dorothy Lander
Midway between Slavery and Citizenship: Black Freedmen in White Protestant Sermons in the Immediate
Post-Civil War Period
David M. Timmerman
Sacred Rhetoric and the African-American Civic Sermon
Joseph Evans
The Modern Renewal of Jewish Homiletics and the Occurrence of Interfaith Preaching
Mirela Saim
“As a Musician Would His Violin”: The Oratory of the Great Basin Prophets
Brian Jackson
The Antebellum American Sermon as Lived Religion
Dawn Coleman

Scholars of British and American preaching, religious history, theology, literature, rhetoric, and genre studies. The collection will be of interest to preachers and other members of the clergy as well.
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