French Pulpit Oratory, 1598-1650: A Study of Themes and Styles, with a Descriptive Catalogue of Printed Texts

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This 1980 text was the first full-length study of seventeenth-century pulpit oratory since 1863, and the first to treat both Catholic and Protestant preaching. The first part opens with a general discussion on the sermon as a literary form, followed by a survey of ideas on preaching and the practical 'arts of preaching' circulating in late Renaissance Europe. Of the central chapters on the sermons themselves, two are concerned with the style and complex formal structures of the sermons; while two examine in turn the major themes of illusion and nature and the imagery associated with them. The second part is a descriptive catalogue of extant sermons and some funeral orations of the period, which provided a great deal of information never previously collected. The book made a significant contribution both to the study of a neglected period of French literature, the 'Baroque', and to comparative studies of the sermon.