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Matthew Stanton - photo


Thesis Title: Charisma and Controversy: Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) and the Debate about Congregational Song  

I am a PhD student at Queen's University Belfast. I am from Orillia ON, Canada and now live in Belfast with my wife. I am in the PhD History Research program at Queen's studying Early-Modern British History.

My research focus is Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) concerning his works in the hymn-controversy of the late seventeenth-century. There is a lack of scholarship focused on the development of this controversy, particularly regarding the previous singing disputes found in baptistic congregations. By identifying this as a gap in scholarship, I'm looking into the origins of Baptist song. I am also considering Keach's hymns by surveying their content and effect later felt by key eighteenth-century English hymn-writers such as Isaac Watts (1674-1748).

I am thoroughly enjoying my time at Queen's both academically and socially. I was initially hesitant to leave home as a newly married 23-year-old and move to Belfast for continued education. However, since our arrival in September 2017, my wife and I have been exceedingly impressed by Queen’s and we are very thankful for this experience. The diverse cultural atmosphere surrounding the school and its socially engaging environment provide a breath of fresh air for one doing post-graduate research.

Special thanks to my thesis supervisor- Dr. Crawford Gribben; for all his help and guidance thus far.