Friday, April 06, 2007

CFP: Resurrecting the First Five Hundred: The Fathers and Early Modern English Culture, 1500-1660

In his Challenge Sermon delivered at St. Paul's Cross on November 26, 1559, Bishop John Jewel argued that the English divines would assert as foundational the underlying belief that the ancient Fathers were the true architects of Christianity and that the English people would no longer be subjected to the medieval tampering that had led the one true Church astray. The first five hundred years of the church, he would argue, are more worth than the whole thousand that followed afterward. We are seeking papers for a panel that will address the issue of the Church Fathers in early modern English culture at the Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies Conference (Villanova University, October 19-21, 2007). We particularly encourage papers that attempt to theorize the relevance of the Fathers beyond a mere history of ideas. Topics addressed may include (but will not be limited to) the rhetorical, political, ethical, and material uses of Church Fathers, and the influence of the Church Fathers on education, rhetoric, science, the stage, book production, devotional and polemical writing, women and writing, the body, and the rise of capitalism. Please send 500-word abstracts as Microsoft Word attachments to Mitchell Harris ( and Steven Matthews ( by May 1, 2007.


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