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date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article analyzes intricate sermons by the finest theological minds of the early modern period, such as John Donne and Lancelot Andrewes. It argues that in both its local rhetorical effects, and in its larger generic structures, the best sermon prose works by the careful combination of argument and rhetorical elaboration which exploits contrast and variety strategically. That is, it has an aim not unlike the Horation ideal of ‘teaching and delighting’, but with a spiritual, moral, and social imperative more intense than that afforded by many early moderns to any poetry or drama.

Keywords: English sermons, English prose, prose style, early modern period, John Donne, Lancelot Andrewes

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