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Society Grant Recipient Publishes Article

21 Feb 2020 3:28 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

Simon LewisIn 2018 while a PhD candidate in History at the University of Oxford, Simon Lewis was awarded a grant by the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church towards travel to archives across the UK to pursue research on lay participation in theological controversies in England and colonial America during the first half of the 18th Century. With this support, and support from the Irish Research Council, Lewis has completed and published "Devotion and Polemic in Eighteenth-Century England: William Mason and the Literature of Lay Evangelical Anglicanism" in the Huntington Library Quarterly (Vol. 82, no. 3).

William Mason (1719–1791), an Anglican evangelical layman, published extensively on theological issues to educate the Anglican laity in the Church of England’s Reformed tradition. Despite the popularity of his writings, Mason has been neglected by scholars. Lewis provides the first large-scale examination of Mason’s works, showing that eighteenth-century Calvinist evangelicalism benefited from an active and vocal laity, whose evangelistic strategies were not limited to preaching. The articles abstract also notes Lewis provides a model for how scholars can integrate piety and polemic in their explorations of religious print culture and enhances our understanding of the laity’s engagement in theological controversies.

Lewis is currently an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at Trinity College Dublin and preparing his doctoral thesis for publication as a monograph.

Grants are available from the Historical Society of the Episcopal for the Society’s objectives, especially the promotion of the preservation of the particular heritage of the Episcopal Church and its antecedents. Find additional information at

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