Rituals of Spontaneity: Sentiment and Secularism from Free Prayer to Wordsworth

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In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a new-found love of spontaneity transformed Christian worship and revolutionized the Enlightenment's "culture of sensibility." Rituals of Spontaneity tells the story of how and why spontaneity came to be so revered. Using archival material and works of Bunyan, Shaftesbury, Goldsmith, Smart and Wordsworth, Branch shows that the rise of spontaneity was intimately connected to the forces of commerce and science at the dawn of the Enlightenment. By focusing on the language in which spontaneity was defended and on its psychological repercussions, Rituals of Spontaneity challenges previous understanding of secularization and demonstrates the deep, often troubling connections between religion and secularism in modernity.
Winner of the Book of the Year Award for the Conference on Christianity and Literature.

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About the Author:

Lori Branch (Ph. D. Indiana University) is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Iowa.

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"Rich, well-argued, and frequently fascinating... The book yields particularly useful insights about anxieties over commercialized religious culture... and the paradoxically regimented nature of much early-modern "spontaneity." ... Recommended."―CHOICE

"Branch offers an essential reconsideration of the importance of religious identity in England in the eighteenth century. Branch's study challenges our blind spots and raises timely questions about our implication, as late moderns, in habits of thought that limit our understanding of the period."―Misty G. Anderson, University of Tennessee

"This superbly researched and dazzlingly original book calls on us to re-examine a familiar feature of our literary histories and of the landscape of Western modernity more generally: namely, the manner in which modern religion and modern literary composition alike have come to center on a rejection of liturgy's ritual repetitions and a celebration of spontaneity and sudden inspiration. Branch models an innovative and powerful alliance between literary history and religious studies."―Deidre Lynch, Indiana University

"Branch is an archaeologist intent on uncovering the history of the notion of spontaneity. From Bunyan's spirit-prompted prayers to Wordsworth's natural expression, this is the story of how a culture invented spontaneity and made its performance the chief measure of sincerity in matters religious, poetic, economic and political."―Thomas H. Luxon, Dartmouth College

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9781932792119: Rituals of Spontaneity: Sentiment and Secularism from Free Prayer to Wordsworth

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Book Description Baylor University Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a new-found love of spontaneity transformed Christian worship and revolutionized the Enlightenment's "culture of sensibility." Rituals of Spontaneity tells the story of how and why spontaneity came to be so revered. Using archival material and works of Bunyan, Shaftesbury, Goldsmith, Smart and Wordsworth, Branch shows that the rise of spontaneity was intimately connected to the forces of commerce and science at the dawn of the Enlightenment. By focusing on the language in which spontaneity was defended and on its psychological repercussions, Rituals of Spontaneity challenges previous understanding of secularization and demonstrates the deep, often troubling connections between religion and secularism in modernity. Winner of the Book of the Year Award for the Conference on Christianity and Literature. Seller Inventory # AAG9781602583429

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Book Description Baylor University Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 362 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 5.9in. x 1.0in.In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a newfound love of spontaneity transformed Christian worship and revolutionized the Enlightenments culture of sensibility. Rituals of Spontaneitytells the story of how and why spontaneity came to be so revered. Using archival material and works of Bunyan, Shaftesbury, Goldsmith, Smart, and Wordsworth, Branch shows that the rise of spontaneity was intimately connected to the forces of commerce and science at the dawn of the Enlightenment. By focusing on the language in which spontaneity was defended and on its psychological repercussions, Rituals of Spontaneity challenges previous understanding of secularization and demonstrates the deep, often troubling connections between religion and secularism in modernity. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781602583429

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