Writing Religious Conflict and Community in Exeter (ReConEx) will explore the role of literature in fashioning religious and communal identities in an early modern regional capital.

Across the early modern period, the city of Exeter played a pivotal role in successive national conflicts, including the Prayerbook Rebellion of 1549, the English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, and the “Exeter Arian Controversy” in eighteenth-century Dissent. Through these crises, Exeter’s preachers, poets, and printers expounded, defended, and contested visions of faith and fellowship in a city that one minister termed ‘a Beacon upon a hill.’ Although the city may have well appeared marginal and remote from the perspective of London as a literary centre, this very distance encouraged a remarkable diversity among its most notable writers in terms of gender and religious affiliation. Exeter religious writing bears witness to the lived experience of religious belief and practice among people of a variety of religious persuasions within and beyond the established Church as well as negotiating matters of controversy between these communities.