The Ministry of Robert Hall, Jr.: The Preacher as Theological Exemplar and Cultural Celebrity
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This dissertation examines the way the life and ministry of Robert Hall, Jr. (1764-1831) functioned as both a theological exemplar and a cultural celebrity. Chapter 1 sets forth the thesis and defines its terminology and introduces the research methodology and the limitations of the project. Chapter 2 reintroduces the life of Robert Hall to a generation that has forgotten him. Details of Hall's education, pastoral ministry, mental breakdown, and death are provided here. Chapter 3 discusses the preaching methodology Hall inherited from preceding generations of Baptists and how Hall changed that methodology over the course of his life. Chapter 4 first addresses Hall's theological journey before observing how Hall employed different doctrines in his preaching. The chapter concludes with a concise examination of Hall as a preacher and the way he also served as a theological exemplar. Chapter 5 investigates Hall as a cultural celebrity, in many ways the first of such among the Baptists. The root of Hall's celebrification as a conversationalist, a rhetorician, and a preacher are all examined. Chapter 6 examines four of Hall's most famous sermons. It was these sermons that made Hall famous across the English nation and established him as a celebrity.