The Interpretation of Material Shapes in Puritanism

Centering her argument on the influential preacher John Cotton, Dr Kibbey offers a detailed analysis of the rhetoric of the Puritan plain style, and thereby overturns many longheld assumptions about the social and artistic values of Protestantism. Using sermons, narratives and chronicles, the author explores the intrinsic relation between language, imagery and belief by examining the variety of ways, sometimes violent, in which early Protestants responded to material shapes: icons, acoustic shapes of speech, material objects, and most importantly, the physical shapes of human beings.