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The International John Bunyan Society

The International John Bunyan Society exists to promote and support scholarship about Bunyan, his contemporaries, and his influence. Our conferences convene every three years. We invite all scholars, teachers, and members of the general public interested in Bunyan and in early modern literature and culture generally to join.

John Bunyan in Bedford Prison

Window commemorating the tercentenary of the publication of  The Pilgrim's Progress. The original window is found in the Bunyan Meeting Free Church in Bedford.  Photographic image of the original reproduced by permission of Fidelity Colour Printers, Essex, U.K. SS15 6SD  


International John Bunyan Society
Seventh Triennial Conference

'John Bunyan: Conscience, History and Justice.'
12-16 August, 2013, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.

Second Preliminary Notice
The IJBS 2013 conference is taking distinct shape. The purpose of this notice is to set out some more details and issue a call for papers.
Full conference registration details will be available in December and registration will begin then.

Plenary speakers will include: N.H. Keeble (Stirling), Laura Knoppers (Penn. State), Paul C.H. Lim (Vanderbilt), Cynthia Wall (Virginia). Panel session topics will include: the Bunyan Church Book; editing Bunyan and other texts in Dissenting tradition; Bunyan’s writings in Colonial America.


The conference organizers issue now a call for conference panel papers of 20 minutes in length: please send 300-400 word abstracts by 15 January, 2013 to Nigel Smith, Dept. of English, McCosh 22, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 08544-1016; or by e-mail:
Proposals for complete panel sessions are also welcome with full details (a title, three speakers and abstracts for each) by the same deadline to the same address.
We intend to organize an afternoon trip to historic Philadelphia for those interested, and there will be a chance to visit the historic parts of Princeton. There will be a conference banquet on the evening of 15 August.
A full schedule of lectures, panels and other events will be published by 1 April, 2013.
Accommodation and regular dining will be in University residential halls ($53.50 per person per night. Meal rates: Breakfast - $9.55; Lunch - $13.90; Dinner - $18:15). Preferential rates will also be available in some local hotels. The halls of residence are in walking distance of central Princeton, which has a sizeable collection of restaurants, cafes and bars. There will also be a conference fee, which we are currently trying to keep as low as possible: a figure will be published when registration begins. There will be reduced rates for graduate students and senior citizens.
Nigel Smith,
President, IJBS, 2010-13.
6 September, 2012



Lecturers will include: Bob Owens, Director of the JBISS; Michael Davies (Liverpool); Anne Dunan-Page (Aix-Marseilles); Isabel Hofmeyr (Witwatersrand); Pat Pinsent (Roehampton); Roger Pooley (Keele); Stuart Sim (Northumbria); David Walker (Northumbria); Clare Walsh (Bedfordshire)

The John Bunyan International Summer School is designed for anyone (aged over eighteen) with an interest in the life, writings and worldwide influence of John Bunyan. It will be held in Bedford, where Bunyan was born and lived all his life, at the Polhill Campus of the University of Bedfordshire. Speakers at the Summer School will include distinguished scholars of Bunyan, and in addition to lectures and seminars the programme will include guided tours of key Bunyan sites and other relevant activities. There will be a particular focus on The Pilgrim's Progress, and its religious, literary and cultural significance throughout the English-speaking world and across the globe in over 200 other languages.

Full information is available at:


The Society's Officers 

Past Presidents



KEELE 2010: The Sixth Triennial Conference convened July 26-28 at Keele University, Staffordshire England, under the direction of Roger Pooley. Plenary speakers were: Isabel Rivers (Queen Mary University of London), John Coffey (University of Leicester) and Lori Branch (University of Iowa).

DARTMOUTH 2007: The Fifth Triennial Conference convened August 15-19 at Dartmouth College, Hanover New Hampshire, under the direction of Tom Luxon. Plenary speakers were Paul Stevens (Toronto), Nigel Smith (Princeton), Julie Crawford (Columbia), Elizabeth Sauer (Brock), and Bob Owens (Open University).

BEDFORD 2004: The Fourth Triennial Conference convened September 1-5, 2004 at De Montfort University in Bedford, England under the direction of Bob Owens of the Open University in partnership with Adrian Randall of De Monfort University. Plenary speakers were Isabel Hofmeyr, Vincent Newey, Tom Paulin, Vera Camden, and Gary Day. The conference program included opportunities to visit historic sites connected to Bunyan, inlcuding the Bunyan Meeting Free Church, Elstow Abbey, and the village of Stevenage. Here is a review of the conference by Michael Davies.

KENT STATE 2001: The Third Triennial Conference convened October 10-14, 2001 at Kent State University, Ohio, under the direction of Vera Camden. Plenary speakers were Sharon Achinstein, Margaret Ezell, Thomas Luxon, David Norbrook, Peter Rudnytsky and Nigel Smith. Here is a review of the 2001 conference published in Bunyan Studies 10 (2001-02).

STIRLING 1998: The Second Triennial Conference took place 31 August- 4 September, 1998 at the University of Stirling, Scotland under the direction of Neil Keeble. Plenary Speakers were Thomas Corns, Nigel Smith, William Lamont and Elaine Hobby. Here is a list of delegates.

ALBERTA 1995: The First Triennial Conference of the International John Bunyan Society convened in Banff, Alberta under the direction of organizers from the University of Alberta. Plenary speakers were John Knott, Richard Greaves and Neil Keeble.

Recent Events

Bunyan Exhibition at the University of South Australia, featuring the collection of Professor Jennifer McKay.






The Richard L. Greaves Award is presented triennially by the Society to an outstanding book on the history, literature, thought, practices, and legacy of English Protestantism to 1700. Eligible books must be published in the three-year period leading up to the Society's triennial conference. The award is not limited to studies of Bunyan, and can be conferred on authors who are not members of the IJBS.


The selection committee (Galen Johnston, Ann Dunan-Page and Isabel Hofmeyr) has selected David Appleby of the University of Nottingham as the 2010 recipient for his book Black Bartholomew's Day: Preaching, Polemic and Restoration Nonconformity, published by Manchester University Press. Committee members agreed that "the book's contribution to dissenting studies was exceptional."


The winner of the first Richard L. Greaves Award for an outstanding book published in the period 2004-07 is The Portable Bunyan: A Transnational History of The Pilgrim's Progress (Princeton University Press). Honorable mention goes to Beth Lynch, John Bunyan and the Language of Conviction (D.S. Brewer). Selection Committee: Sharon Achinstein, Sylvia Brown, Nigel Smith



In Memoriam: Geoffrey Nuttall

Professor Nuttall passed away July 24, 2007 at the age of 95.



IJBS Advisory Board


In Europe and elsewhere, dues can be forwarded in the form of an international money order (in pounds sterling) payable to the International John Bunyan Society to:

EUROPE: David Walker, European Treasurer, The International John Bunyan Society, Head of the Department of Humanities, School of Arts and Social Sciences,Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK Email:

NORTH AMERICA: please forward dues (in U.S. dollars) by check or money order to: Dr. Galen Johnson, North American Treasurer, 802 Amanda Drive, Siloam Springs, AR 72761 USA. e-mail:

Membership rates are:

Individual: £20/US$35 per year
Couples: £30/US$55 per year
Student, Retired, Under-employed: £15/US$25 per year
5-Year Subscription (Individuals): £80/US$140
5-Year Subscription (Couples): £120/US$220

The Recorder, the newsletter of the International John Bunyan Society, and Bunyan Studies the official journal of the IJBS, are now included in your membership package.

The Recorder

The Recorder is the newsletter of the International John Bunyan Society. It appears once a year in the Spring, and includes short articles, book reviews, scholarly notes, news of members, conference announcements, and other items of interest.

For submissions and inquiries contact Christopher Garrett:

Bunyan Studies

Bunyan Studies has become the offical journal of the International John Bunyan Society.

For information on submissions contact: W.R. Owens, Editor, The Open University,
Department of Literature, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP.

For information on subscriptions and submissions, contact: Stuart Sim, Editor, English and Creative Writing, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK NE1 8ST

Reviews and books for review can be sent to: Dr. David Walker, Head, English and Creative Writing, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK NE1 8ST

Sponsoring Institutions

Sites of Related Interest

The International John Bunyan Society on Facebook

Early Modern Literary Studies examines English literature, literary culture, and language during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The Milton Reading Room is a virtual library of Milton's texts developed by Tom Luxon and his students at Dartmouth College.

The Milton-L Home Page is devoted to the life, literature, and times of John Milton.

The Voice of the Shuttle offers links to a wide range of sites in Renaissance and Seventeenth-Century Literature and other periods.

Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies is a collaboration between Queen Mary, University of London and Dr. Williams's Library.

Dr. Williams's Library is a major research library in the area of English Protestant nonconformity.

The Bunyan Museum is situated at the Bunyan Meeting Free Church in Mill Street, Bedford, England. The Museum opened in 1998 and has had thousands of visitors since then.

In his early years, Bunyan attended church at Elstow Abbey (founded 1078), located in his home village of Elstow.

Takkorngartaub Arvertarninga: Pilgrim’s Progress translated into Inuktitut, a web-based project created by Sylvia Brown of the University of Alberta.



". . . fear not the Lions, for they are Chained; and are placed there for trial of faith . . . "

Illustration to The Pilgrim's Progress by William Blake (1757-1827)