A Preface to Swift's Test Act Tracts

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    There are seven securely canonical polemical works by Jonathan Swift that areprimarily concerned with opposing Whig attempts to repeal the Sacramental Test in favourof Protestant Dissenters in Ireland. They are occasional prose works, polemical interventionsin topical controversies over the repeal attempts of 1707–9 and 1732–33. In his Test Acttracts, and in other polemical and satirical writings, Swift responds to an array of Dissentingarguments arraigned against the Sacramental Test. One of these Dissenting anti-Test argu-ments was that temporal rewards for religious conformity and penalties for Nonconformityencouraged religious hypocrisy. Swift’s response to this argument has become notorious.This essay will offer a short view of Swift on the Sacramental Test and hypocrisy. It willnotice the kinds of general argument Swift drew upon in defence of conformity and forimposing civil disabilities on Dissenters.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationReading Swift: Papers from the Sixth Munster Symposium on Jonathan Swift
    EditorsKirsten Juhas, Hermann J Real, Sandra Simon
    Place of PublicationMunich
    PublisherWilhelm Fink Verlag
    ISBN (Print)9783770554300
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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