Life, Context, and Legacy
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Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 352
Width: 15.5 cm
Height: 23.5 cm
George Whitefield (1714-70) was one of the best known and most widely travelled evangelical revivalist in the eighteenth century. For a time in the middle decades of the eighteenth century, Whitefield was the most famous person on both sides of the Atlantic. An Anglican clergyman, Whitefield soon transcended his denominational context as his itinerant ministry fuelled a Protestant renewal movement in Britain and the American colonies. He was one of the founders of Methodism, establishing a distinct brand of the movement with a Calvinist orientation, but also the leading itinerant and international preacher of the evangelical movement in its early phase. Called the 'Apostle of the English empire', he preached throughout the whole of the British Isles and criss-crossed the Atlantic seven times, preaching in nearly every town along the eastern seaboard of America. His own fame and popularity were such that he has been dubbed 'Anglo-America's first religious celebrity', and even one of the 'Founding Fathers of the American Revolution'. This collection offers a major reassessment of Whitefield's life, context, and legacy, bringing together a distinguished interdisciplinary team of scholars from both sides of the Atlantic. In chapters that cover historical, theological, and literary themes, many addressed for the first time, the volume suggests that Whitefield was a highly complex figure who has been much misunderstood. Highly malleable, Whitefield's persona was shaped by many audiences during his lifetime and continues to be highly contested.
George Whitefield is finally getting some of the scholarly attention that he deserves. * Richard P. Heitzenrater, 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries of the Early Modern Era * This rich volume is the product of a 2014 conference commemorating the three hundredth anniversary of Anglican evangelist George Whitefield's birth...the authors offer a bounty of new analyses, often based on underused or previously unknown primary sources, putting Whitefield more fully into his eighteenth-century British context. * Thomas S. Kidd, Baylor University, The Journal of Religion * In summary this volume is a highly recommended introduction to the current state of play in Whitefield scholarship for specialist and student alike. * Judith Rossall, Holiness * George Whitefield shows that Whitefield the man and Whitefield the preacher continues to captivate the public imagination; that over 300 years since his birth, his voice still cries out. * Randall J. Pederson, Journal of Reformed Theology * [T]his volume offers some tantalizing new ways for approaching George Whitefield's life and relevance: not an easy task for a historical figure about whom so much has already been written. * Jessica M. Parr, Church History and Religious Culture * Here is a volume that needs to be in every library, whether historical or theological. Those wishing to embark on intentional reading about Whitefield and the period of the Awakening ought to start with select chapters from this volume. Doing so would clear away considerable clutter and help one to distinguish between hagiography and serious biography. * Kenneth J. Stewart, Calvin Theological Journal * The book roars to life with Boyd Schlenther's opening chapter which calls into question much of the received opinion concerning George Whitefield and signals what seems to be the editorial mandate of the work: a reappraisal of an evangelist whom everyone knows, yet knows so little about. Schlenther's cogently argued, bracing essay is a particularly notable example of the kind of engagement the volume, in the main, delivers. * Joel Houston, Churchman * In sum, this collection of essays on George Whitefield is an important work that portends a shift in the traditional views of Whitefield, the man and the minister. * Joel Houston, Churchman * These essays are a remarkable reappraisal of Whitefield in his personal, theological, ecclesiastical, philosophical, political, and geographic contexts...This collection has made a significant contribution to the study of Whitefield and will hopefully encourage further scholarly inquiry into his life and times. * Reading Religion * this volume, deftly edited and very well produced, will be an essential quarry for Whitefield scholars, and for historians of Methodism as a whole, for decades to come. * G. M. Ditchfield, Journal of Religious History, Literature and Culture * a fascinating book * English Churchman *