The Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, 1730-1860

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9780631173847: The Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, 1730-1860
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This dictionary is a comprehensive source of biography on figures associated with the Evangelical Movement in the English–speaking world between 1730 and 1860. It consists of over 3 500 entries and represents the expertise of over 300 international historians.

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Review:

"... this is a notable achievement that should be welcomed by scholars. The volumes are a great delight for browsing and will no doubt be invaluable for the serious researcher." First Things "The scope of this superbly produced biographical dictionary is set out with admirable clarity by its editor, Donald M. Lewis. ... All the effort was well spent. In the future, those who ask, ′But what is evangelicalism?′ should simply be directed to read through these two volumes. If after that, they don′t know the answer, they never will. ... If you library doesn′t already have this set on order, agitate." Books and Culture D.W. Bebbington, University of Stirling

Synopsis:

This dictionary covers figures of historical, literary or religious significance who flourished at any time between 1730 and 1860, and were associated with the Evangelical Movement in the English-speaking world. It provides a comprehensive source of information on figures related to a significant period of Christian history in the West, which is also organically related to that world-wide expansion which has transformed the church in the 20th century. The book shows that in North America, evangelicalism was the dominant religious influence during this period. In Britain, evangelicalism was important both within and outside the Church of England, and outside the religious world altogether, and was in some ways responsible for some of the dominant characteristics of British society, particularly in the Victorian period. It draws together interest in the movement and its branches on the part of historians and social scientists, as well as theologians, church historians and many concerned Christians.

The period of 1730-1860 is designed to focus on the middle of the 18th to the middle of the 19th century when there was a reasonably coherent historical phenomenon which can be called the Evangelical Movement. The "English-speaking world" includes Great Britain and all of Ireland, and Britain's colonial holdings: the American colonies (and subsequently the United States), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the African and West Indian territories and British India. Some non-native English-speakers will be included if they had strong connections with, or exercised notable influence on evangelicalism (such as the Moravian, Count Zinzendorf). The movement touched a variety of people of vastly different background, outlook, church connection, presuppositions and prejudice.

Between the dates selected, there is a stream of Christian life in the English-speaking world which displays certain distinctive features which mark it off from the rest of the landscape: the intensification of the Christian life associated with a deep sense of personal guilt and an overwhelming sense of forgiveness through Christ; the application of preaching to conversion and transformation rather than to "duty"; the growing conviction of the universal application of the Christian message (with its inevitable outcome in the missionary movement); the moral radicalism which sprang from a sense of personal accountability; and the new pattern of church relations which produced both ecumenicity and schism, as well as an enlarged conception of ministry and a burgeoning of that organ which the Evangelicals transformed, the voluntary society. Given the multiformity of the movement, the dictionary includes among the evangelicals people who would not have recognized each other as such - Armenians and Calvinists, Churchmen and Dissenters, "Old Lights" and "New Lights".

It includes not only figures of the large Churches, but also representatives of small and often forgotten movements which undoubtedly derive from the same main stream as Edwards and Whitefield and the Wesleys: Sandemanians and Walkerites, and members of the Teetotal Methodist Connexion. The dictionary consists of approximately 3500 entries, and represents contributions of over 300 international historians.

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Lewis, D. M.
Published by Blackwell Publishers Ltd (1995)
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