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Open Access The Paradoxes of Preaching in Print: Seeing and Believing in the Sermons of Jacques Abbadie

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The boom in printed sermons in French in the latter half of the seventeenth-century is usually attributed, on the one hand, to the popularity of pulpit eloquence and, on the other, to the piety of both preacher and faithful. However, this study of the rhetorical organisation, imagery, and printing history of the sermons of Jacques Abbadie points to a more ambiguous explanation for the boom. Although the French Reformed Churches counselled their pastors against the pursuit of eloquence in their preaching, Abbadie made a display of it, and engaged in theoretical reflection to justify his practice. According to him, pulpit eloquence promotes receptivity in the faithful; but, with hindsight, it is clear that it also promotes the preacher. Publishing eloquent sermons publicised the hermeneutical and oratorical gifts of the preacher; the epistle dedicatory advertised his social connections; thus the printed sermon was also a strategy for advancing the career of the preacher.

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Keywords: CALVINIST PREACHING MODEL; FIDES DE VISU; FIDES EX AUDITU; FRENCH REFORMED CHURCHES; JACQUES ABBADIE; PREACHING; PRINTED SERMONS; PULPIT ELOQUENCE; TABLEAU

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • The Irish Journal of French Studies is an annual international refereed journal published by the Association des Études Françaises et Francophones d'Irlande. Articles in English, French or Irish are welcomed on any aspect of research in the area of French and Francophone culture, society, literature and thought. Articles published within the last two years are available free online to members and may be purchased by non-members. All other articles are available on an open access basis.

    Please note that the Print ISSN listed for the journal on this website applies to volumes 1 to 10, and part of volume 16. All other volumes are published, in their entirety, on-line only.

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