Monday, 30 April 2012

Just published: The Elect Methodists

Hot off the press today, my latest book, a history of Calvinistic Methodism in England and Wales in the long eighteenth century.

The Elect Methodists is the first full-length academic study of Calvinistic Methodism, a movement that emerged in the eighteenth century as an alternative to the better-known Wesleyan grouping. While the branch of Methodist led by John Wesley has received significant historical attention, Calvinistic Methodism, especially in England, has not. This book charts the sources of the eighteenth-century Methodist revival in the context of Protestant evangelicalism emerging in continental Europe and colonial North America, before proceeding to follow the fortunes in both England and Wales of the Calvinistic branch, to the establishing of formal denominations in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries.

Mark Noll writes of the volume:
'This much-needed volume opens up the history of the eighteenth-century Calvinistic Methodism as a single narrative embracing both England and Wales. It offers superb treatment of the larger-than-life individuals who made this Calvinistic movement nearly the equal of its Wesleyan counterpart - including Griffith Jones, Daniel Rowland and Howel Harris (Wales), the Countess of Huntingdon and Thomas Haweis (England), and George Whitefield (everywhere). The book also succeeds in explaining why Calvinistic methodism faded in England while becoming a permanent part of the Welsh religious landscape. This is an important history very well told'.


Unknown said...

Just wondering if I could nab a moment of your time to canvass opinion!

"Wales remained a backwater lacking even a capital; with fewer than 400,000 people in 1700 - not many more than Devon - it was a pastoral economy, freckled with (Wrexham, the larges, had a bare 4,000 inhabitants, Cardiff just over one thousand) and mining, smelting and quarrying villages. The province was left to itself: some of it's Anglican bishops never set foot within the principality. It was dominated by a small time squirearchy, which in a few regions only, such as Glamorgan, caught the improvement bug. Not until the 1770s did tourists swarm to the mountains, though the London-based Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge inspired a cirulating school movement from the 1730s, printing Welsh Bibles. And the development of industry depended upon English enterprise. The South Wales copper, iron and coal industries, centred upon Swansea and Neath and big business by 1800 were primed with Bristol and West Midlands capital." - Roy Porter

Do you feel this characterization is fair? I've been reading various Welsh sources who seem to reject Porter's (admittedly pretty cutting) assertions out of hand.

Oh, and Johnny Cash's cover of hurt, good/bad?

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