Writing Faith and Place conference programme

Writing Faith and Place in Early Modern Britain

17th–19th April, University of Exeter

We are delighted that you are interested in joining us in Exeter for our conference Writing Faith and Place in Early Modern Britain. We have assembled a rich array of papers, panels and keynote addresses on how religious identities are shaped, maintained and defended through varied kinds of writing in regional contexts across England, Wales and Ireland and moving outwards to New England, the Middle East and the rest of the globe. See below for programme details.

To register, please visit this link.

Wednesday 17th April

12–12:45 pm (Amory B105)

Registration with light lunch.

12:45–1 pm (Amory B106)

Conference welcome from ReConEx project team.

1–2:30 pm (Amory B106)

Panel 1: Negotiating Religious Difference in the Southwest

Andrea Hugill (independent scholar)

John Jewel of Devon and the Centrality of Salisbury Cathedral

Frances Nieduszyńska (independent scholar)

An Italian Jesuit’s Eye-Witness Account of Religious Identity in South Devon, 1597

Philip Schwyzer (University of Exeter)

Strangers and Friends in Anne Dowriche, The French Historie

2:30–2:45 pm (Amory B105)

Tea break

2:45–3:45 pm (Amory B106)

Panel 2: Preaching, Piety and Politics

Niall Allsopp (University of Exeter)

John Bond, Preaching, and the Languages of Mobilization in the Southwest

Leah Veronese (University College, Oxford)

‘I enquire not what God did in his bed-chamber’: John Donne and the Politics of the Jacobean Bedchamber

3:45–4 (Amory B105)


4–5:30 pm (Amory B106)

Panel 3: Contesting Faith and Place in Early Modern Ireland

Alan Ford (University of Nottingham)

John Hooker, the First Protestant Historian of Ireland

Danielle Clarke (University College Dublin)

Lady Anne Southwell, the Munster Plantation, and the Church of Ireland

Lee Morrissey (Clemson University)

The Articles of Peace: Writing about Faiths across one Place (from another Place)

6:30–7:30 pm (St Nicholas Priory)

Keynote public lecture:

Mark Stoyle (University of Southampton)

Semper Fidelis?: The Civic Community of Exeter and the Memory of the Western Rising

7:30 pm onwards

Delegates are free to make their own arrangements for evening meal. A group will be going to George’s Meeting House (Dissenting chapel turned Wetherspoons pub).

Thursday 18th April

9:00–10:30 am (Amory B106)

Panel 4: Writing Political Controversies in the West, 1685–1747

William Gibson (Oxford Brookes University)

John Gadbury, Writing Religious News to Wales in James II’s Reign

Daniel Reed (Oxford Brookes University)

‘Putting the torch to the sheaf’ – Clerical Identity and the Epistolary Writings of Lewis Stephens (1689–1747)   

Nigel Aston (University of Leicester/University of York)

‘Marlborough Men’: Faith Contested in a Wiltshire Market Town in the Reign of George I

10:30–10:45 am (Amory B105)

Tea break

10:45 am–12:15 pm (Amory B106)

Panel 5: Writing Dissenting Identities in the Long Eighteenth Century

Chris Toole (University of Leeds)

Place and Itinerancy: An Examination of Oliver Heywood’s Position on Coley and his Travels across Northern England, 1660–1700

Annie J. Stephenson (University of Exeter)

Introspection Unveiled: A Comparison of Joseph Alleine’s and John Wesley’s ‘life-changing’ Self-examination Questions

Baiyu Andrew Song (Andrew Fuller Centre for Baptist Studies)

Amicus Pacificus, amicus Candidus’: A Reappraisal of the Ryland/Turner-Booth Communion Controversy and its Impact on Baptist Identities

12:15–12:45 (Amory B105)


2–2:30 pm

Archival field trip Part 1 (Exeter Cathedral sacristy)

Field trip to Exeter Cathedral sacristy to view Cathedral Library and Archive holdings related to religious writing and history in Exeter and the southwest.


Archival field trip Part 2 (Devon and Exeter Institution)

The Devon and Exeter Institution is a historic library on Cathedral Green (established 1813) whose holdings focus especially on the southwest region, housed in a building that was previously the town house of the Courtenay family. We will view rare books and archives linked to Exeter’s religious history. Due to limitations of venue size and current renovation work, the group will be split into two slots (2:30-2:45 and 2:45-3).

4–5:15 pm

Panel 6: Circulating Texts and Ideas (Amory B106)

Tanner Moore (Claremont McKenna College)

Bound by Books: The Availability of Books and the Authorship of Richard Allestree in Restoration Oxford, 1658–1681

Ian Maxted (former Devon Local Studies Librarian)

Coffinloads of Books: Private Libraries as a Source to Study the Reception of Religious Texts

5:30–6:30 (Amory B106)

Keynote address:

Alison Searle (University of Leeds)

Networking Correspondents: Writing Faith and Place through Letters

7 pm onwards (City Gate Hotel, 1 Iron Bridge, EX4 3RB)

Conference dinner at City Gate Hotel.

Friday 19th April

9:15–10:45 (Amory B106)

Panel 7: Dissent and Toleration in Devon and Beyond

David Parry (University of Exeter)

Prodigals, Providence and Politics in Sermons and Self-Writing by Exeter Dissenters, c.1660–1750

Bracy Hill (Baylor University)

James Peirce and Exeter: The Apologist and ‘Arch-Heretic’ in the City

Samuel Head (University of Oxford)

‘the People… were … no longer what they seem’d before’: The Theme of Perception in Dr Richard Burthogge’s Prudential Reasons for Repealing the Penal Laws … and for a General Toleration (1687)   

10:45–11 (Amory B105)

Tea break

11 am–12:30 noon (Amory B106)

Panel 8: Women Writing Faith and Place

Thomas Clifton (Coventry University)

Community, Faith, and Solitude in the Meditations and Memoirs of Elizabeth Delaval

Melissa Marsh (Birkbeck, University of London)

Deborah Huish, The Captive taken from the Strong (1658): Using the Psalms in Writing Faith

Fr Peter O’Kane (Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth)

‘Just as I am’ – The Theological Musings and Social Influence of Female Hymn-Writers of Early Modern Britain   

12:30–1:15 pm (Amory B105)


1:15–2:45 pm (Amory B106)

Panel 9: Writing Faith in Local and Global Contexts

David Manning (University of Leicester)

Cotton Mather’s New England

Paul Auchterlonie (University of Exeter)

Ellis Veryard, Joseph Pitts and Exeter Cathedral Library: what can they tell us about Islam?

Janet Wootton (John Bunyan Museum and Library)

John Bunyan: Intimately Local to Outrageously Global and Back Again

2:45–3 pm

Closing reflections.

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