From Pulpit to Press
This chapter describes the means by which the Paul’s Cross sermons were disseminated: through oral delivery in the pulpit, in manuscript notes by preachers and hearers, and in printed sermon-books. The impact of the transition from speech to the written and then printed page is considered, and evidence for early modern preachers’ sense of the different uses of these media is given. But the stability of the central argument of the sermon, built around the interpretation of a quotation from the Bible, is asserted. The process of sermon composition demonstrates which elements of a sermon (the ‘doctrines and uses’) were least likely to be affected by a change of medium. The debate over the ‘plain style’ in preaching is addressed.
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