UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Affective stylistics : sermons by John Donne and Jonathan Edwards Good, William Stephen


This thesis contains a stylistic analysis of two sermons by John Donne, and two by Jonathan Edwards. The purpose of the thesis is not to postulate a direct relationship between Donne and Edwards. Rather, the focus is on affective techniques in terms of audience response within the context of the sermon form. General background material on each man is provided, and the writer takes into account various social, political, literary, and theological influences acting on each preacher. Each of the chapters containing the analyses is introduced by a short discussion of the particular preacher's style. The analyses each consist of the examination of a sermon as a sequential experience to which the listener responds. Techniques are discussed in terms of response, rather than in terms of literary tradition, rhetoric, or oratory. The analyses depend on the sermon form's sequential nature: that is, the sermons are not treated as reservoirs of examples to illustrate a series of points, but rather as experiences. The thesis concludes with a summary of what has been attempted, along with comments on the value of, and the significant possibilities arising from, such studies this in terms of theology as well as literature, in England and America. The conclusion points out that the study helps broaden our understanding of sermon literature as a genre. The thesis is also to act as an initial step in the process of using theological literature to examine the development of English and American culture and thought.

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