Prof. Joshua King

Professor of English


Publications and Professional Activities


Constructing Nineteenth-Century Religion: Literary, Historical, and Religious Studies in Dialogue, co-edited with Winter Jade Werner (Ohio State University Press,  2019)

Like my previous monograph, this edited collection is in Ohio State’s Literature, Religion, and Postsecular Studies series.  It brings together an interdisciplinary team of seventeen prominent and rising scholars who freshly interrogate the ways in which religion was constructed as a category and region of experience in nineteenth-century literature and culture, even as they reflect self-critically on how scholarship invokes and deploys religion as a category now.  Contributors are from universities around the world and represent the fields of literature, history, and theology and religious studies.

Imagined Spiritual Communities in Britain’s Age of Print (Ohio State University Press, 2015)

This book is in OSUP’s distinguished Literature, Religion, and Postsecular Studies series. It demonstrates how nineteenth-century Britons turned to the printed page to imagine themselves in Christian communities spanning their nation. In contrast with traditional views of the nineteenth century, which regard the period as a turning point for religion from a public life to a privatized decline, the book argues that the rapid growth of print culture and a voluntary religious market inspired vigorous efforts to form virtual national congregations of readers. Focusing primarily on the work of Anglicans between the 1820s and 1890s, this study begins by freshly interpreting reading and educational programs promoted by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Frederick Denison Maurice, and Matthew Arnold. It then traces the emergence of John Keble’s Christian Year as a catalyst for competing visions of a Christian nation united by private reading. This phenomenon illuminates the structure and reception of best-selling poetic cycles as diverse as Alfred Tennyson’s In Memoriam and Christina Rossetti’s late Verses. Ultimately, Imagined Spiritual Communities in Britain’s Age of Print reveals how dreams of print-mediated spiritual communion generated new poetic genres and rhetorical strategies, theories and theologies of media and reading, and ambitious schemes of education and church reform.

Reviews: J. Russell Perkin, The Review of English Studies, new series (June 2016); Amy Coté, Victorians Institute Journal vol. 43 (2015); Charles LaPorte, Review 19 (Jan 17, 2017); Florence Boos, “Guide to the Year’s Work: Pre-Raphaelitism,” Victorian Poetry 54.3 (Fall 2016); Emily Harrington, “Guide to the Year’s Work: Women Poets,” Victorian Poetry 54.3 (Fall 2016); Melissa Smith, Nineteenth-Century Contexts: An Interdisciplinary Journal (2017); Christine Ferguson, Modern Language Review 112.2 (April 2017): 492-494; Kristen Pond, Daniel Smith, William Baker, Arianna Reilly, Christian Dickinson, Claire Stainthrop, Michael J. Sullivan, Lucy Barnes, “The Victorian Period,” Year’s Work in English Studies (2017);  Megan Dent, Nineteenth Century Literature 72.2 (2017); Caley Ehnes, Victorian Review 42.2 (Fall 2016): 381-383; Richard Gibson, Religion and Literature 48.3 (Spring 2018); Knight, “Victorian Literature and the Variety of Religious Forms,”  Victorian Literature and Culture 46.2 (2018): 517-529; Padraig Lawlor, Jhistory, H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences (July  2018)— review was also republished on the Victorian Web; Andrew Elfenbein,   “Imagined Spiritual Communities in Britain’s Age of Print by Joshua King and What Victorians Made of Romanticism by Tom Mole,” Victorian Studies 60.4 (2018): 690-693; Megan Hartman Lease, Religion and the Arts 24 (2020): 431-447.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

“Revelatory Beasts: Christina Rossetti on the Apocalypse and Creation’s Worship,” Christianity and Literature  70.4 (2021): 382-403 (10,970 words). Awarded the 2021 Lionel Basney Award for outstanding article of the year.

Chapter on “Social and Environmental Justice.” The Cambridge Companion to Religion in Victorian Literary Culture, ed. Mark Knight (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) (6,000 words).

Chapter on “Ecology.” Gerard Manley Hopkins in Context, ed. Marton Dubois, Cambridge series on Literature in Context (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) (3,000 words).

“Christina Rossetti’s Cosmic Liturgy and Challenge to Anthropocentrism.” Ecoflourishing and Character: Multidisciplinary Christian Perspectives, ed. Steven Bouma-Prediger and Nathan Carson (forthcoming with Routledge) (5,500 words).

Religio Loci: Wordsworth’s Churchyards and Sacred Ecologies of Place in the 1810s.” Nineteenth-Century Literature in Transition: the 1810s, ed. Emma Mason, Cambridge series on Nineteenth-Century Literature in Transition (Cambridge UP, forthcoming) (10,000 words).

“The Democratisation of the Bible: Education, Economics, Ecology,” The Victorian Period, ed. Elisabeth Jay in The Bible and Literature, 5 vols., ed. Elisabeth Jay and Stephen Pricket et al. (forthcoming with Bloomsbury T&T Clark)(25,000 words: 10,000-word essay followed by 15,000 words of illustrative material and commentary)

“Child Labour and the Idolatry of Nature in ‘The Cry of the Children’ and A Drama of Exile,Women’s Writing 27.4 (2020), special issue on “Women and Labour in the Nineteenth Century,” edited by Lisa Surridge and Mary Elizabeth Leighton, pp. 404-415 (5,200 words).

“Christina Rossetti,” The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women’s Writing, ed. Lesa Scholl and Emily Morris, Palgrave Major Works Series (published online: 6 Sept. 2019; published in print: ) (7,043 words).

with Winter Jade Werner, “Introduction,” Constructing Nineteenth-Century Religion: Literary, Historical, and Religious Studies in Dialogue (Ohio State UP, 2019): 1-21.

“Newman and Print Culture,” The Oxford Handbook of John Henry Newman, ed. Frederick D. Aquino and Benjamin J. King (Oxford University Press, 2018): 90-112 (10,000 words). Available through Oxford Handbooks Online.

“Transatlantic Abolitionist Discourse and the Body of Christ in ‘The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point’ and The Liberty BellReligions 8(1), 3 (2017; published Dec. 27, 2016): 15,440 words.

“The Inward Turn: The Role of Matthew Arnold.” The Routledge Companion to Literature and Religion, ed. Mark Knight (Routledge, 2016): 15-26 (6,924 words).

“The Oxford Movement and Victorian Literature,” coauthored with Kristen Pond, Blackwell Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature 4 vols., ed. Dino Felluga, Pamela K. Gilbert, and Linda K. Hughes (Blackwell Publishing, 2015):  1231-1239 (4,472 words).

“Christianity: Introduction,” Reading the Abrahamic Faiths: Rethinking Religion and Literature, ed. Emma Mason (Bloomsbury 2014): 117-129 (4,990 words).

“Coleridge’s Late Confessions: Personification, Convention, and Free Agency,” Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, issue #62 (2014): 1-29 (8,084 words).

“Coleridge’s Clerisy and Print Culture,” The Coleridge Bulletin, n.s. 40 (Winter 2012): 25-35  (5,510 words).

“John Keble’s Christian Year: Private Reading and Imagined National Religious Community,” Victorian Literature and Culture, vol. 40.2 electronic thru Cambridge Journals (Summer 2012); print (Fall 2012): 397-420 (13,424 words).

“Wordsworth and Reading Verse,” Essays in Romanticism, vol. 19 (Sept. 2012):  19-32  (7,4440) words).

“A Post-Secular Victorian Study: Religion, Reading, and Imagining Britain,” Nineteenth-Century Prose, vol. 39.1-2 (Spring & Fall 2012): 58-70 (4,005 words).

“Broken Promises and Blind Pleasures in Wordsworth’s ‘The Idiot Boy’,” The CEA Critic, vol. 73.3 (Spring 2012): 49-69 (9,725 words).

“Coleridge’s Aids to Reflection, Print Culture, and Mediated Spiritual Community,” European Romantic Review,vol. 23.1 electronic (January 2012); print (Feb. 2012): 43-62 (12,056 words).

“Patmore, Hopkins, and the Problem of the English Metrical Law,” The Hopkins Quarterly (print) and Victorian Poetry (electronic) (June 2011): 31-49 (6,895 words).

“‘The Old Cumberland Beggar’: Form and Frustrated Sympathy,” The Wordsworth Circle 41.1 (Winter 2010): 45-52 (35 paragraphs; 7,040 words ).

“Hopkins’ Affective Rhythm: Grace and Intention in Tension,” Victorian Poetry 45.3 (Fall 2007): 209-237 (13,661 words).

“The Idiot Boy,” The Literary Encyclopedia (online; March 2012): 5,878 words.

Other Articles:

“Multiplying Connections, Cutting Carbon: An Experiment in Multi-Site, Digitally Linked, Flightless Conferencing,” Conference Inference: Blogging the World of Conferences [Scholarly Blog] (17 December 2019): 3,969 words.

“The Echoing Cry,” COVE (Central Online Victorian Educator), Teaching Section (June 2018): 3,804 words.

Scholarly Editions:

First Peer-Reviewed COVE edition: Elizabeth Barrett Barrett [Browning], “On a Portrait of Wordsworth by B.R. Haydon.” Coedited with Dino Felluga (Purdue U), Marjorie Stone (Dalhousie U), Christopher Rovee (LSU) (Feb. 2018).

Book Reviews:

“Mark Knight’s Good Words: Evangelicalism and the Victorian Novel and Christopher Herbert’s Evangelical Gothic: The English Novel and the Religious War on Virtue from Wesley to Dracula,” Victorians Institute Journal 47 (2020) (special double-review, 6,456 words).

“Jeffrey Barbeau’s Religion in Romantic England: An Anthology of Primary Sources,” The Coleridget Bulletin NS 54 (Winter 2019) (2,800 words)

“Emma Mason’s Christina Rossetti: Poetry, Ecology, Faith,” Victorian Studies 61.3 (Spring 2019) (1,167 words)

” Stephen Cheeke’s Transfiguration: The Religion of Art in Nineteenth-Century Literature Before Aestheticism,” Nineteenth-Century Literature (2018) (1,900 words).

“Kirstie Blair’s Form and Faith in Victorian Poetry and Religion and Charles LaPorte’s Victorian Poets and the Changing Bible,” Nineteenth-Century Literature 68.2 (September 2013): 237-245 (3,300 words).

“Britta Martens’ Browning, Victorian Poetics and the Romantic Legacy: Challenging the Personal Voice,” Victorian Studies 55.2 (Winter 2013): 329-331 (1,067 words).

“William R. McKelvy’s The English Cult of Literature: Devoted Readers, 1774-1880,” Christianity and Literature 59.3  (Spring 2010): 552-556 (1,775 words).

Conferences Directed

“ECOLOGY AND RELIGION IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY STUDIES” (Sept. 18-21, 2019)  Armstrong Browning Library (Baylor), the University of Washington (Seattle), Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.), Emory University (Atlanta), and Lancaster University (Lancaster, United Kingdom). Served as lead organizer for this flightless, multi-site, interdisciplinary conference that explored the confluences between environmental and religious perspectives and practices in the long Anglophone nineteenth century (1780-1900). Over 250 people attended the sites in person, with 601 from 165 cities in 19 nations watching and participating through the conference website.

“RHYME AND REFORM: VICTORIAN WORKING-CLASS POETS AND ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING’S ‘THE CRY OF THE CHILDREN'” (Oct. 4-5, 2018) Armstrong Browning Library (Baylor) and University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland). Designed and served as a lead organizer for experimental international symposium held at two sites (ABL and Strathclyde) with digitally linked events across the Atlantic. Events were streamed through the symposium website. A total of 265 participated in-person and digitally. Included academic presentations, artistic performances, and a full exhibition on-site at the ABL that has an expended digital life on the symposium website.

Armstrong Browning Library, Baylor University.  Directed international conference about how the category of ‘religion’ was constructed and used in nineteenth-century literature and culture. Speakers selected from extremely competitive pool of applicants (about 20% acceptance rate), and represented top institutions from seven nations. Disciplines represented at the conference included literary studies, history, art history, religious studies, and theology.