Journal Article

ANGLICANISM, ENTHUSIASM AND QUIXOTISM: PREACHING AND POLITENESS IN MID-EIGHTEENTH CENTURY LITERATURE<sup>1</sup>

Paul Goring

in Literature and Theology

Volume 15, issue 4, pages 326-341
Published in print December 2001 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online December 2001 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/15.4.326
ANGLICANISM, ENTHUSIASM AND QUIXOTISM: PREACHING AND POLITENESS IN MID-EIGHTEENTH CENTURY LITERATURE1

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One consequence of the rise of Methodism in eighteenth-century Britain was the stimulation of rigorous debate over the propriety and effectiveness of conflicting preaching techniques Was Anglican delivery too reserved to be effective? Did ‘enthusiasm’ inspire eloquent oratory or dangerous mania? This article explores literary interventions into this debate. Theophilus Evans' History of Modern Enthusiasm (1752), Richard Graves' The Spiritual Quixote (1773), and essays by Oliver Goldsmith (1759/60). Taking different positions within the debate, these texts illustrate how the preacher's body functioned within eighteenth-century culture as an important site of representation—one on which competing notions of ‘politeness’ could be mapped

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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