New online exhibition on the history of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel

About Dissenting Experience

Dissenting Experience is a research group devoted to investigating the history  of religious nonconformity in Britain, c.1500-1800. We share a particular interest in the historical and literary study of church books, registers, and related records from Baptist, Congregational and Presbyterian churches, c.1640-1714.


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Original author: Anne Page

Dissenting Pastoral: Register now!

Alison Searle and Emily Vine (University of Leeds) will present the AHRC-funded research project ‘Pastoral Care, Literary Cure and Religious Dissent: Zones of Freedom in the British Atlantic (c. 1630-1720)’ @Britaix17_18

Monday 1 February 2021, 16.30 -18.30 European Standard Time (3.30 – 5.30 GMT)

This paper provides an overview to the research project ‘Pastoral Care, Literary Cure and Religious Dissent: Zones of Freedom in the British Atlantic (c. 1630-1720)’, which is based at the University of Leeds. It discusses the research processes and outputs of a project that has focused on the role of pastoral care and letter writing in transatlantic Protestant communities in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. It also reflects on how events of the past year, including Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement, have intersected in unexpected ways with the project, and have prompted the consideration of synergies between the provision of pastoral care past and present.  

Dr Alison Searle is Associate Professor of Textual Studies in the School of English at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on the intersections between early modern literature and theology. She is co-general editor of The Complete Correspondence of Richard Baxter (forthcoming in nine volumes with Oxford University Press)

Dr Emily Vine is Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the School of English at the University of Leeds. Her PhD, from Queen Mary University of London, investigated domestic religion in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century London. Prior to joining Leeds, she was a Junior Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research.  

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Lived Religion Visual Arts study day

Friday 4 December 2020, 2.00 to 4.30 pm GMT, via Zoom.

The concept of ‘lived religion’ emerged within the French school of sociology in the 1930s when extensive enquiries were made into the state of French catholicism, and is still conceived today as belonging primarily to the province of social scientists, practical theologians and moral philosophers.
The Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature in English (Queen Mary University of London) has entered into a collaboration with the Research Centre for the Anglophone World of Aix-Marseille University (LERMA, UR 853) for a four-year project applying the concept to European literature and history, following the seminal work of David Hall and Robert Orsi for North America.
With due regard to the sociological context in which such work began, the project explores historical, literary and material sources, seeking new ways to approach private and public devotions, religious practices and the everyday religion of the laity.
We hold a symposium every year, alternating between England and France: ‘Documenting Lived Religion 1500 to the Present:
Perspectives Across Borders’ (2017), ‘Lived Religion: Theory and Practice’ (2018), ‘Lived Religion and the Book’ (2019), ‘Lived Religion and the Visual Arts’ (2020). A conference will end the cycle in October 2021 in London.
Conveners: Anne Dunan-Page (Aix-Marseille University), Laurence Lux-Sterritt (Aix-Marseille University), Tessa Whitehouse (Queen Mary University of London)
To register and receive the link to connect to the meeting, please send an email toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See full programme and inscription details

Original author: Colin Harris

The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, Volume I

The Post-Reformation Era, 1559-1689,

edited by John Coffey:

Presents a revisionist account of the origins of Anglophone Protestant Dissent Adopts a comparative approach between Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, and Quakers Harvests a wealth of new research on Dissenting religious culture through recent scholarly editions and projects

The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, Volume I traces the emergence of Anglophone Protestant Dissent in the post-Reformation era between the Act of Uniformity (1559) and the Act of Toleration (1689). It reassesses the relationship between establishment and Dissent, emphasising that Presbyterians and Congregationalists were serious contenders in the struggle for religious hegemony. Under Elizabeth I and the early Stuarts, separatists were few in number, and Dissent was largely contained within the Church of England, as nonconformists sought to reform the national Church from within. During the English Revolution (1640-60), Puritan reformers seized control of the state but splintered into rival factions with competing programmes of ecclesiastical reform. Only after the Restoration, following the ejection of two thousand Puritan clergy from the Church, did most Puritans become Dissenters, often with great reluctance. Dissent was not the inevitable terminus of Puritanism, but the contingent and unintended consequence of the Puritan drive for further reformation. The story of Dissent is thus bound up with the contest for the established Church, not simply a heroic tale of persecuted minorities contending for religious toleration. Nevertheless, in the half century after 1640, religious pluralism became a fact of English life, as denominations formed and toleration was widely advocated. The volume explores how Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, and Quakers began to forge distinct identities as the four major denominational traditions of English Dissent. It tracks the proliferation of Anglophone Protestant Dissent beyond England—in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Dutch Republic, New England, Pennsylvania, and the Caribbean. And it presents the latest research on the culture of Dissenting congregations, including their relations with the parish, their worship, preaching, gender relations, and lay experience.

Table of Contents
1: Presbyterianism in Elizabethan & Early Stuart England , Polly Ha
2: Presbyterians in the English Revolution , Elliot Vernon
3: Presbyterians in the Restoration , George Southcombe
4: Congregationalists , Tim Cooper
5: Separatists and Baptists , Michael A. G. Haykin
6: Early Quakerism and its Origins , Ariel Hessayon
7: The Dutch Republic: English and Scottish Dissenters in Dutch Exile, 1575-1688 , Cory Cotter
8: Scotland , R. Scott Spurlock
9: Ireland , Crawford Gribben
10: Wales, 1587-1689 , Lloyd Bowen
11: Dissent in New England , Francis J. Bremer
12: Colonial Quakerism , Andrew R. Murphy and Adrian Chastain Weimer
13: Dissent in the Parishes , W. J. Sheils
14: Dissent and the State: Persecution and Toleration , Jacqueline Rose
15: The Empowerment of Dissent: The Puritan Revolution , Bernard Capp
16: The Print Culture of Nonconformity: From Martin Marprelate to Reliquiae Baxterianae , N. H. Keeble
17: The Bible and Theology , John Coffey
18: Sacraments and Worship , Susan Hardman Moore
19: Sermons and Preaching , David J. Appleby
20: Women and Gender , Rachel Adock
21: Being a Dissenter: Lay Experience in the Gathered Churches , Michael Davies, Anne Dunan-Page, and Joel Halcomb

Author Information
Edited by John Coffey, Professor of Early Modern History, University of Leicester

John Coffey is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Leicester. He has published widely on the history of Protestantism in Britain and America, and is the author of Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England, 1558-1689 (2000), and Exodus and Liberation: Deliverance Politics from John Calvin to Martin Luther King Jr. (2014). He co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism (2008), and has worked with N.H. Keeble, Tom Charlton, and Tom Cooper on a scholarly edition of Richard Baxter’s Reliquiae Baxterianae, 5 vols (Oxford, 2020).

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Women Translators of Religious Texts (revue Parallèles)

Numéro spécial de la revue Parallèles.
Guest-edited by Adriana Şerban and Rim Hassen.

Deadline: 15 November 20.

The question of who translates religious writings in general, and holy texts in particular, is just as important as that of how the translations are done, why, and for whom. While translation has often been associated with women (Chamberlain 1988), translators of sacred texts have mainly been men. Translation Studies scholars such as Simon (1996) and von Flotow (1997) highlighted the role of women as translators of the Christian holy writ, but the fact remains that translating a sacred text is a task that requires a recognised position in society, education, and access to sources of documentation which few people, especially women, had until the 19th century in the Western world, and still struggle to achieve elsewhere. Another theme that runs through the (so far mostly invisible) story of women translators of sacred texts is that of authority. Traditionally, women’s role in organised religion was relegated to that of auxiliaries. Thus, in the three religions of the Book, men have dominated in ministry and occupied the positions of power and decision-making at every level of the hierarchy. Although there is more debate around such issues than ever before, and the landscape is slowly evolving, restrictions do persist in many environments.

Despite the adverse conditions, a number of women translators have succeeded in gaining a measure of visibility. Mary Sidney Herbert, Julia E. Smith, Helen Barrett Montgomery, Annie Cressman and Mary Phil Korsak in the field of Bible translation; Fatma Zaida, Umm Muhammad, Camille Adams Helminski, Tahereh Saffarzadeh and Laleh Bakhtiar in Quran translation; Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh, the first female translator of the Sikh scriptures, the Adi Granth—these are only a few of the women who have made a mark in religious translation. They have in common a desire to “see with [their] own eyes, and not look through the glasses of [their] neighbors” (Smith 1876: n.p.), and to share their insights and knowledge with others, empower them in more ways than one. Even though their efforts have often been individual, several women translators have collaborated with a man, usually a family member. Some of their translations only tackle parts of a given text, and they tend to be for smaller, restricted audiences. In other words, at the time of writing, women’s voices in religious translation remain marginal, especially where holy texts are concerned.

To our knowledge, Women Translators of Religious Texts will be the first publication entirely dedicated to women translators of religious writings, a topic at the intersection of several disciplinary fields, including Translation Studies, Religious Studies, Gender Studies, Feminist Studies, and Literary and Cultural Studies. We propose to bring together translators of religious texts and scholars from various disciplines, working on women translators from different religious traditions and periods.

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