Paul’s Cross and the Culture of Persuasion in England, 1520-1640

Torrance Kirby and P.G. Stanwood, editors



The open-air pulpit within the precincts of St. Paul’s Cathedral known as ‘Paul’s Cross’ can be reckoned among the most influential of all public venues in early-modern England. Between 1520 and the early 1640s, this pulpit and its auditory constituted a microcosm of the realm and functioned at the epicentre of events which radically transformed England’s political and religious identities. Through cultivation of a sophisticated culture of persuasion, sermons at Paul’s Cross contributed substantially to the emergence of an early-modern public sphere. This collection of 24 essays seeks to situate the institution of this most public of pulpits and to reconstruct a detailed history of some of the more influential sermons preached at Paul’s Cross during this formative period.

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About the Editors

P.G. Stanwood

Dr. Stanwood has been a Professor of English at the University of British Columbia since 1975, and Professor Emeritus since 1998.  He has also taught at Tufts University, and at the universities of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Cambridge, York (UK), Mainz and Würzburg.

Torrance Kirby

Torrance Kirby, DPhil (1988) in Modern History, Christ Church, University of Oxford, is Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Director of the Centre for Research on Religion at McGill University. He has published extensively on the thought of Richard Hooker and recently edited A Companion to Richard Hooker (Brill, 2008).