Andrew's Reviews > Rituals Of Spontaneity: Sentiment And Secularism From Free Prayer To Wordsworth

Rituals Of Spontaneity by Lori Branch
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Jul 24, 2011

really liked it

This book kind of blew up my brain. I'm only two chapters in (and I don't know if I can make it through her chapter on Christopher Smart, whom I know nothing about), but so far Lori Branch has written an eloquent, dazzling synthesis of:

modern theories of subjectivity and their origin in long eighteenth century literature
the career of John Bunyan
the influence of Shaftesbury
the development of extemporaneous preaching over the conflicted 17th century
genealogies of the concept of sensibility

Really interesting stuff. Here's a good review in Touchstone by Peter Leithart. However, I completely disagree with his qualm that she oversells the influence of capitalism on religion.

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives...
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