Who wrote ‘The Book of Margery Kempe’?

The Book of Margery Kempe is undoubtedly one of the most important surviving pieces of medieval English literature. It allows us insight into a multitude of different issues: gender roles, marital relations, female authority, Lollardy, pilgrimage, fasting, the hazards of travel and contested visionary experience, to name just a few. Yet until the twentieth century very little was known about it at all. Small extracts from the Book were printed in 1501 and 1521, but…

Continue Reading →

The Theosophical Transactions of the Philadelphians (No. 2)

The second of the Philadelphian’s Theosophical Transactions was published in April 1697. The front cover contained a quote from Revelation, ‘Behold, I have set before thee an Open Door: and no Man can shut it’ (Rev 3:8). This second memoir contained letters from actual members of the Philadelphians concerning subjects brought up in the previous months publication. Despite this, it was substantially smaller than the first, suggesting that Lee and Roach had expended most of…

Continue Reading →

PhD: Submission and being kind in academia

“We’re all smart. Distinguish yourself by being kind”. – Anne Galloway It’s been two weeks since I submitted my PhD and I’m fairly sure my body is still in shock. After a long three years of study, not waking up every morning and having to write, research and redraft my thesis is positively bizarre. When I woke up on the morning of submission I felt excited more than anything else- a bit like a child…

Continue Reading →

The Theosophical Transactions of the Philadelphians (No. 1)

The Theosophical Transactions, or Acta Philadelphica, were a series of five small memoirs published by the Philadelphian Society between March and November 1697. Edited by leaders of the group, Richard Roach and Francis Lee, they were intended to be circulated amongst members to inform them of religious occurrences and newly published works. They were published in London and sold for one shilling. Surviving copies of the Transactions in England are rare; the Bodleian Library in…

Continue Reading →

Who were the Philadelphian Society?

The Philadelphian Society emerged into public view in 1697 and declared themselves to be returning to the teachings of the ancient Church from the time of the Apostles. They took their name from the Philadelphian Church described in Revelation 3:7-8, which promised to ‘set before thee an open door’ which ‘no man can shut’. They strongly denied accusations they were a new sect, but rather insisted that they were a society under which those of…

Continue Reading →