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Getting The Message: Towards A Cultural History Of The Sermon

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines eighteenth-century audience reception by employing aspects of the uses and gratifications approach to obtain an understanding of the kind of reflection on the sermon one might find in ego documents. Since ego documents are relatively rare, and reflections on sermons even rarer, this account makes use of quite a wide variety of sources, mainly English, French and Dutch. The aim is to apply the different motives distinguished in uses and gratifications theory to ego documents written by people from different confessions in different national contexts. The following is therefore divided into four sections respectively dealing with cognitive pursuits, emotional needs, personal fulfilment and social affirmation each of which reflects a particular kind of need and its corresponding gratification. The chapter employs the uses and gratification model to classify and interpret audience responses to sermons gleaned from eighteenth-century ego documents.

Keywords: Dutch; ego documents; English; French; sermon



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