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Religion and representation: Methodism "displayed" in a series of seven images accompanying six anti-Methodist publications 1778-9

Hegenbarth, Carly Louise (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis assesses how negative attitudes towards the Methodist movement and one of its’ leaders, John Wesley (1703-1791), impacted on image making in the late eighteenth century. The thesis focuses upon one title page illustration and six frontispieces from a series of anti-Methodist publications produced in London in 1778-9: The Fanatic Saints; or, Bedlamites Inspired. A Satire, Perfection. A Poetical Epistle, The Temple of Imposture; a poem, Sketches for Tabernacle-frames, a poem, The Love-Feast, a poem and Fanatical Conversion; or, Methodism displayed. A satire, which exists in two versions. It provides the first in-depth analysis of these images. It is argued that the foci images had a discursive function, coding vast bodies of knowledge into a compact form through the use of visual symbols and embedded textual labels, captions and intertextual references. Various, readily legible, discourses around sovereignty and governance, unreason, the passions and religious enthusiasm, poor relief, gin and idleness and religious imposture and priestcraft, were coded and decoded in relation to specific emergent anxieties around John Wesley’s temporal and spiritual influence, his alleged duplicitous intent and London Methodism. The thesis argues that the foci images mediated, reconstituted, synthesised and transformed logocentric areas of discourse around Wesley and Methodism.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Clay, Richard
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:History of Art
Subjects:BL Religion
ND Painting
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:2912
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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