Mark Koch Wins Whiting Grant

Mark Koch, Interim Coordinator of Writing 2-3 in the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, has been awarded a grant from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation to work in London this summer on a project titled "The Rhetoric of Charity: The English Charity Sermon from 1680 to 1750." Koch will explore London libraries to discover more about the charity sermons of late 17th- and early 18th-century England.  His research shows that, while the Protestant Reformation eroded the traditional practice of almsgiving by asserting that divine grace is granted through faith alone and not through almsdeeds, there was nonetheless a need to fund institutions of poor relief and thus to formulate new rationales for charitable giving. The new incentives for charity were presented in numerous sermons beginning around the time of the Restoration. Many of these sermons argued that almsdeeds are accompanied with a sensual pleasure and articulated principles of sympathetic response.