Robert H. Ellison has edited a collection of innovative studies of sacred
rhetoric in the 19th century. Ellison, a visiting professor of English at
Marshall, edited “A New History of the Sermon: The Nineteenth Century” for Brill
The book’s three sections – Theory and Theology, Sermon and Society in the British Empire, and Sermon and Society in America – contain a total of 16 essays on such topics as biblical criticism, Charles Darwin, the Oxford Movement, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, English Catholicism, sermon-novels and the slave trade on both sides of the Atlantic.
The compilation is expected to have a broad appeal for historians, scholars and students, as well as preachers and scholars of religion. It includes representations of a multitude of traditions including the Anglican and Presbyterian churches, English nonconformity and Judaism, as well as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Ellison received his Ph.D. in English from the University of North Texas and taught in Texas for many years. His family came to West Virginia in 2009 when his wife, Dr. Lori Ellison, joined the Counseling Department at Marshall. During their first year, he was an adjunct in the English Department and now serves as a visiting assistant professor, teaching primarily freshman composition and British literature.
Ellison said the goal of “A New History of the Sermon” was to publish interesting essays on preaching in Britain and America during the 19th century.
“I had the great pleasure of collaborating with new and established scholars working on a tremendous variety of topics,” he said. “This broad scope means that the collection should appeal to students and professors across the academic spectrum; it is my hope that it will help to generate interest in sermon studies, a field that has seen a significant amount of growth in recent years,” Ellison added.
Dr. David J. Pittenger, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said he is pleased with Ellison’s efforts.
“We are extremely fortunate to have
the depth of talent that Dr. Ellison brings to our college and the classroom,”
Pittenger said. “His new book is a representation not only of the department’s
commitment to faculty scholarship, but of the broad, varied, and
interdisciplinary nature of contemporary literary scholarship. I am proud to
have Dr. Ellison contribute to the intellectual well being of our students.”
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