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Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s [Paperback]

David W. Bebbington
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Dec 1988

This major textbook is a newly researched historical study of Evangelical religion in its British cultural setting from its inception in the time of John Wesley to charismatic renewal today.

The Church of England, the Church of Scotland and the variety of Nonconformist denominations and sects in England, Scotland and Wales are discussed, but the book concentrates on the broad patterns of change affecting all the churches. It shows the great impact of the Evangelical movement on nineteenth-century Britain, accounts for its resurgence since the Second World War and argues that developments in the ideas and attitudes of the movement were shaped most by changes in British culture.

The contemporary interest in the phenomenon of Fundamentalism, especially in the United States, makes the book especially timely.

Frequently Bought Together

Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s + The Cambridge Companion to Evangelical Theology (Cambridge Companions to Religion)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (15 Dec 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415104645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415104647
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 23 x 15.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Evangelical religion is a popular Protestant movement that has existed in Britain since the 1730s. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the definitive history of British evangelicalism 27 Mar 2001
Dr Bebbington's book is the definitive work on evangelical Christianity in Britain. Packed with detail and based on prodigious scholarship in a wide variety of primary sources yet written in an engaging and witty style. Bebbington surveys all aspects of evangelicalism since the 1730s and brings forward a number of challenging interpretations. Of particular interest is his contextualisation of evangelical religiosity with the cultural trends and patterns of each period under scrutiny, which make this a book which has a scope far beyond mere ecclesiastical history. For scholars and amateur enthusiasts alike, very highly recommended indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended Book for my Masters Degree Course 11 Feb 2013
By David
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an extrtemely useful source book for any student of Ecclesiastical Archives or the history of religion. It provides good background information and links to a range of sources to support the materials provided by tutors.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Standard Work on 19th Century Evangelicalism 23 April 2009
By Quentin D. Stewart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an extremely helpful analysis of Evangelicalism that covers almost the entirety of its history. Unlike most scholars Bebbington argues that Evangelicalism had its roots in the Enlightenment and was a product of Enlightenment epistemology, rather than being a reaction to the frigid rationalism of that age. More convincing is his discussion of the role the assurance of one's salvation played in Evangelicalism. Bebbington notes that Puritans throughout the 1600s had had conversion experiences, but that they were highly scrutinized by their coreligionists. The Evangelical breakthrough came when Jonathan Edwards accepted the experiences of those who claimed to be born again as valid in his New England parish. With the conversion of Whitefield and Wesley the assurance of one's salvation came to the forefront of the Evangelical experience. As the movement gained momentum and adapted itself to new exigencies the possibility of conversion was held out to larger and larger audiences and revivalism was born. This was a far cry from the rigid scrutiny Evangelicals' Puritan predecessors would have been subjected to.

In its heyday Evangelicalism would have been considered politically liberal by late 20th century/early 21st century American standards in that it was progressive, fighting for social justice and social transformation as well as emphasizing education and a call to a personal relationship with Christ. Bebbington notes that 19th century Evangelicalism was a "happy religion."

Bebbington focuses on the movement as a whole rather than particular denominations. This is a sound approach, but sometimes one gets the impression that a solitary individual such as Edward Irving becomes representative of Evangelicals as a whole. In reality Irving was something of an enigma in his own time. But overall this is a wonderfully researched work. It might not be indispensable, but it has become something of a standard work on this subject such that many scholars have adopted Bebbington's distinctions in order to describe Evangelicalism: conversionism (the impulse to see oneself and others converted or be "born again"), crucicentrism (a strong emphasis on the atoning work of Christ as sufficient for one's salvation if apprehended through faith), and activism (the zeal to convert others and transform society by reaching out to the poor and the destitute, run orphanages, fight alcoholism amongst the poor, the abolition of slavery, Bible societies, Sunday school for the uneducated children of the slums and factories, child labor laws, evangelism and revivalism).

Overall highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition poor 15 Feb 2012
By Ben - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the standard and best text on its subject, but unfortunately the Kindle edition is riddled with spelling errors. Clearly the book was simply scanned and the result never checked before being published. There are numerous mistakes on almost every 'page'. This is lazy publishing. Thankfully footnotes are consistently hyperlinked so you can jump to a footnote from the text and back again easily.
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and scholarly 12 Jan 2014
By Tony Rasmussen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fullsome treatment written by a trusted scholar. Excellent background to major denominations and movements. Some useful background on important personalities of the period.
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