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ePortfolio of Martyn Cutmore

Samuel Clarke 1599-1682: The Shaping and Moderation of Emotion in Puritan Affective Culture

Supervisor: Professor Mark Knights

Samuel Clarke, the seventeenth century Presbyterian cleric, published many collections in multiple editions of lives, histories, martyrologies and edifying tracts, culled largely from a collective Protestant experience. Clarke deployed familiar rhetoric and description to register an affective impact which ranged from disturbingly shocking accounts of torture and torment to subtle and more nuanced discourses on the perils of toleration and the necessity of emotional restraint. His work aimed deliberately both to trigger and to regulate the passions. I am interested in how the apparently formulaic style of Clarke's Presbyterian cultural agenda can be seen to have encompassed an 'emotional regime', and how his texts seem to represent and embody the vicarious experience of his ‘emotional community.’

Samuel Clarke

I shall be drawing on concepts in the field of emotions history associated with the work of William M. Reddy (emotional regime) and Barbara Rosenwein (emotional community). My study affords an opportunity to develop cross-disciplinary themes from history, religion, literature, philosophy, psychology and anthropology. It considers the shaping and moderation of ‘rational’ puritan emotion through an analysis of the affective language and narrative structure of Clarke’s texts, set against the broader context of mid-seventeenth century English religious and political conflict.

Conference Papers
  • Corruption and Puritan Emotion: Samuel Clarke and The Marrow of Divinity, 1659, presented at 'Corruption, Deviation, Degradation, and Malfeasance in Early Modern England', Early Modern Research Group, University of Worcester, 28 April 2017.
  • The Odious Name of Presbyterian: 1661 - Rhetoric and the Emotional Community, presented at History Postgraduate Conference, University of Warwick, 1-2 June 2017.
  •  'Twixt Joy and Sorrow' - The Prescription and Expression of Godly Grief: Samuel and Katherine Clarke, presented at 'Religion and the Life Cycle', Queen Mary University of London, 6th July 2018.

Education and Professional Background
PhD Candidate, University of Warwick, 2016 to present
M Hist, University of Warwick, 1991 (Dissertation: Puritanism at Alcester 1592-1662)
PGCE, 1977
BA (Hons), History, University of London, 1976

I spent my whole professional life teaching History in state comprehensive schools.

Early Modern/Eighteenth Century Post-Graduate Reading Group

I seem to be responsible for convening this informal reading group, 2017-18


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