|About the Book|
Revivalism has always been an important strain in American Protestantism. At times it has been the dominant influence. Often perceived as a home-grown movement, revivalism actually originated in England and has thrived in both countries with the helpMoreRevivalism has always been an important strain in American Protestantism. At times it has been the dominant influence. Often perceived as a home-grown movement, revivalism actually originated in England and has thrived in both countries with the help of two centuries of intellectual cross-pollination. This book focuses on English and American evangelicals during the early and mid-nineteenth century. Examining, first, American revivalism in the crucial state of its development, from the 1790s to the 1840s - when evangelicals used their most aggressive conversion techniques - it goes on to show the significant effects these developments had on the English revival movement. The revival tradition ultimately became orthodoxy in America- in Britain, however, it failed ever to achieve real respectability. Transatlantic Revivalism examines this contrast. It shows how attitudes and institutions in Britain prevented the flowering of an American style revivalism- conversely, particular American conditions allowed Methodism, which in England exerted only limited influence on Protestantism, to become the largest and most thoroughly revivalistic of all Protestant denominations. Church historians have often under-emphasized or deliberately ignored evangelical life- its emotionalism, disorder, and impropriety were an embarrassment to them. More recent historical scholarship has been primarily interested in tracing the secular implications of revivalism. This study focuses on those major evangelical denominations, particularly the Methodists, which in both countries provided the primary expression of evangelicalism and which gave it its cutting edge.