Posted by William Nunnelley on 2005-01-25

A new book by Samford University religion professor Scott McGinnis explores puritanism and popular religion in early modern England. The book, George Gifford and the Reformation of the Common Sort: Puritan Priorities in Elizabethan Religious Life, was published by Truman State University Press as Volume 70 of the Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies series.

Dr. McGinnis studies puritan attitudes through the life and works of Elizabethan minister George Gifford, who was on the front lines of the reform movement at a time when the English church was being torn apart by religious controversies over worship style, church order and doctrine. He pays special attention to Gifford's practical ministry, including his attempts to translate Protestant teachings into language accessible to the average layperson.

At Samford since 2002, McGinnis holds Ph.D. and master of arts degrees in religious studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also holds the master of arts in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, master of business administration from the University of Alabama and undergraduate business degree from Samford.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.