Evangelical Conversion Narrative
Spiritual Autobiography in Early Modern England
This item is a print on demand title and will be dispatched in 1-3 weeks.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 400
Width: 16.2 cm
Height: 24.2 cm
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, thousands of ordinary women and men experienced evangelical conversion and turned to a certain form of spiritual autobiography to make sense of their lives. This book traces the rise and progress of conversion narrative as a unique form of spiritual autobiography in early modern England. After outlining the emergence of the genre in the seventeenth century and the revival of the form in the journals of the leaders of the Evangelical Revival, the central chapters of the book examine extensive archival sources to show the subtly different forms of narrative identity that appeared among Wesleyan Methodists, Moravians, Anglicans, Baptists, and others. Attentive to the unique voices of pastors and laypeople, women and men, Western and non-Western peoples, the book establishes the cultural conditions under which the genre proliferated.
Based on deep knowledge of Whitefield's and especially the Wesleys' reading and vast output of writings and of the contemporary context, this book throws brilliant new light on the emergence and development of Evangelicalism, whose flame still burns bright. For anyone seeking to explore Evangelicalism, this is an admirable book. * The Ven. Dr William Jacob, Church Times * This magnificent study will become the standard source for scholars and students alike to examine the nature and dynamics of early evangelical piety... While this learned study treats early evangelical piety more deeply than any previous research, Hindmarsh's style is both readable and accessible. There is a beauty to this writing that delights the reader and occasionally prompts one to pause and admire the author's prose... I strongly endorse this book and look forward to how it will shape future conversations regarding the nature and development of early evangelical spirituality. * Tom Schwanda, Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care * The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism weaves together an amazing breadth of scholarship with depth of knowledge in detail. Its analysis is subtle and suggestive, as well as comprehensive in synthesis... This is a lucid and beautifully written book, and an important one. * Martin Wellings, Wesley and Methodist Studies * [A] remarkable study which gives us a vivid portrait of the devotion, intellect, and personalities that accompanied the rise of evangelicalism. In important ways, they are like current evangelicals today...I highly recommend this book for the way it illuminates the spiritual lives of many early evangelicals, both well-known and long-forgotten. Non-academic readers will enjoy Hindmarsh's accessible writing style. And evangelicals of all stripes will find encouragement in the ways early evangelicals struggled to remain faithful to Christ in the midst of an increasingly secular world. After all, that struggle is not unlike ours today. * Robert W. Caldwell III, Christianity Today * This assessment is spot on, and highly recommended. * Douglas Sweeney, Jonathan Edwards Center at TEDS * Exhaustively researched and leavened with dry wit, The Evangelical Conversion Narrative offers a focused and sometimes moving insight into the lives of all sorts and conditions of people, from barely literate laborers to self-consciously literary preachers and poets. * Maria M. Scott, Christianity and Literature * In this finely researched and compellingly written account of the hitherto relatively underexplored phenomenon of religious conversions in early modern England... Hindmarsh argues convincingly that... a more nuanced reading of this key historical period of evangelicalism is needed... Evangelical Conversion Narrative will be a first port-of-call for any serious inquiry into this eponymous cultural and religious phenomenon which swept through the Atlantic world in the mid- to late eighteenth century. * Paul C.H. Lim, Religious Studies Review * These are complex and testing areas, yet Hindmarsh's handling of his subject matter is superb, revealing depth of knowledge and an engaging style...The differences and similarities between conversions in different parts of the evangelical movement are explored and analysed with finesse...It is a landmark study deserving of the highest praise for its scholarly integrity and breadth of vision. * Gareth Lloyd Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies * This is a model monograph. Bruce Hindmarsh has landed upon an important yet surprisingly understudied theme, researched it thoroughly, and explored it in a wide-ranging and insightful manner...The Evangelical Conversion Narrative deserves to be read, discussed, and cited for many years to come. * Timothy Larsen The English Historical Review * It is the best book ever published by a North American on eighteenth-century evangelical religion. * Mark A. Noll, Journal of the American Academy of Religion * His beautifully organised, clearly written, and richly illustrated book explores a huge range of material in manuscript as well as print... * Isabel Rivers, University of London, MLR * an absolutely excellent book, which will be required reading for the period. * W.R. Ward, Theology * Hindmarsh's analysis of this corpus of material is illuminating ... Hindmarsh's mastery of the disciplines of theology, history, and literary theory, together with his rigour and sound judgement, will command respect. * Dr Colin Podmore, Church Times * This is an outstanding book...Hindmarsh is properly critical, is deeply aware of the context, and is also splendidly readable. This is one of the finest books that I have read on the eighteenth-century evangelical revival. * Evangelical Quarterly * ...an exemplary analysis of a central feature of early evangelical history. * Ecclesiastical History, Volume 57/3 *