‘Courage, Language, Discretion and Learning’: Lancelot Andrewes and Early Modern Religious Culture

Event Date: 
20 Mar 2020 to 21 Mar 2020

University of York, UK


This conference will be the first to investigate the works of Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) and his engagement with early modern cultures of religion, literature and learning. Andrewes was the best renowned elite preacher of his generation. His sermons were celebrated by listeners, readers and poets; he occupied powerful roles in the Jacobean court, and his writings paved the way for later reforms in the English church. Andrewes was a famous polemicist, a major translator of the King James Bible, an internationally respected scholar, and an influential teacher at Cambridge. This conference will undertake a detailed investigation of his writings in all their variety: sermons, polemical tracts, devotional works and university lectures. 


Recent research on Andrewes has uncovered the range of influences upon his thinking. We are now in the position to enquire how Andrewes’s own various roles, his use of different genres and his appeals to diverse audiences shaped his writing. In asking these questions, the conference will contribute to a broader understanding of early modern religious writing. It will allow us to investigate the relationship between sermons and other genres, and to study the connections between Andrewes and the work of other early modern scholars, philosophers and thinkers. In the light of the ‘religious turn’ in literary studies and new work on the history of early modern scholarship, an examination of the variety of Andrewes’s literary output will explore connections between seemingly disparate strands of early modern religious, political and scholarly discourses. 


The conference will feature plenary addresses from Peter McCullough (Lincoln College, Oxford) and Kathryn Murphy (Oriel College, Oxford). We are also requesting the submission of abstracts for twenty-minute panel papers from researchers at any stage of their career, including research students. 


Topics may include (but are by no means restricted to) Andrewes and…

  • Early Modern Universities and / or pedagogy
  • The parish church and/ or London
  • Biblical translation and biblical languages
  • Early modern scholarship and the study of antiquity 
  • His influence and reception, home or abroad
  • Literary culture
  • Performance
  • Genre and form 
  • Politics and / or polemic 
  • The law 
  • His contemporaries
  • Ecclesiology
  • Liturgy and practice 
  • Prayer and devotional writings
  • Early modern natural philosophy 


Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to andrewes2020@gmail.com by October 1st 2019 and attach a brief biography with your abstract. 


Thanks to a generous grant from the Society of Renaissance Studies, we are able to offer some travel bursaries for ECRs and PhD students, with particular preference reserved for those giving a paper. Please mention this in your email, when contacting the organizers.


Joseph Ashmore (University of Cambridge) and Tilly Zeeman (University of York)


Please see our website for further information and blog  https://lancelotandrewes.wordpress.com/ 



Submission date for papers: 
01 Oct 2019