“Liturgy and Identity” New Book Now On Sale

After two years of editing and reformatting, the Journal is very excited to announce the release of founder Matthew Stanton’s new book Liturgy and Identity. The book has been published by the Centre for Baptist Studies at Regent’s Park College, Oxford. It is volume 21 in their General Series – blue cover books. The book is about Benjamin Keach’s transformational work in installing the singing of hymns not only in his congregation, but aided the establishment of hymn-singing as common practice throughout London Baptist churches in late 17th CE England.

Copies can be purchased directly from the Journal or through your local Amazon dealer.


Protestantism in seventeenth-century England was fractured. A group, known as Dissenters, left the established Church of England. Some of these Dissenters challenged the use of exclusive Psalmody and began to propagate the use of hymns in public worship. These hymns were categorized as newly composed songs. There is still much to be discovered surrounding this transformation within dissent. However, given that last Sunday about 630 million Evangelicals gathered to sing hymns, the singing practices of these Dissenters are significant. This ‘right to sing hymns’, a position championed by Particular Baptist Benjamin Keach, resulted in a decade-long polemic in the 1690s. As the controversy continued, more congregations began to adopt the practice of hymn-singing and, by the end of the century, hymn-singing became an established practice amongst many dissenting congregations throughout London and the surrounding areas.

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