Building Devotion: History, Use, and Meaning in "John Buck's Book"

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Lyle J. Enright

Abstract

This essay explores an artifact at the Newberry Library Chicago; cataloged as a copy of Thomas Becon's Pomaunder of Prayer (c.1560), this artifact is in fact a number of texts bound together for the personal use of an eighteenth-century owner, one John Buck. The anthologized texts are briefly examined, and an attempt made to sketch a preliminary portrait of John Buck based on his choice in devotional material and his own social context. This essay concludes that Buck's appropriation of early modern Protestant propoganda into his own eighteenth century Anglican identity provides a unique and helpful window into the early development of "polite religion" in England, which would come to define the Romantic period.   

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Author Biography

Lyle J. Enright, Loyola University Chicago

Lyle Enright is a doctoral student at Loyola University Chicago. His primary area of study is the intersection of religion and literature, particularly the articulation of religious identity in contemporary literature "after" postmodernism.