The Changing Shape Of English Nonconformity, 1825-1925: Changing Shape Of English Nonc

Hardcover | December 1, 1998

byDale A. Johnson

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This book addresses several dimensions of the transformation of English Nonconformity over the course of an important century in its history. It begins with the question of education for ministry, considering the activities undertaken by four major evangelical traditions (Congregationalist,Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian) to establish theological colleges for this purpose, and then takes up the complex three-way relationship of ministry/churches/colleges that evolved from these activities. As author Dale Johnson illustrates, this evolution came to have significant implicationsfor the Nonconformist engagement with its message and with the culture at large. These implications are investigated in chapters on the changing perception or understanding of ministry itself, religious authority, theological questions (such as the doctrines of God and the atonement), and religiousidentity.In Johnson's exploration of these issues, conversations about these topics are located primarily in addresses at denominational meetings, conferences that took up specific questions, and representative religious and theological publications of the day that participated in key debates or advocatedcontentious positions. While attending to some important denominational differences, The Changing Shape of English Nonconformity, 1825-1925 focuses on the representative discussion of these topics across the whole spectrum of evangelical Nonconformity rather than on specific denominationaltraditions.Johnson maintains that too many interpretations of nineteenth-century Nonconformity, especially those that deal with aspects of the theological discussion within these traditions, have tended to depict such developments as occasions of decline from earlier phases of evangelical vitality and appeal.This book instead argues that it is more appropriate to assess these Nonconformist developments as a collective, necessary, and deeply serious effort to come to terms with modernity and, further, to retain a responsible understanding of what it meant to be evangelical. It also shows thesedevelopments to be part of a larger schema through which Nonconformity assumed a more prominent place in the English culture of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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This book addresses several dimensions of the transformation of English Nonconformity over the course of an important century in its history. It begins with the question of education for ministry, considering the activities undertaken by four major evangelical traditions (Congregationalist,Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian) to estab...

Dale Johnson is Professor of Church History at the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University and editor of the quarterly journal Religious Studies Review. His special area of interest is modern religious history, and his previous books include Women in English Religion, 1700-1925 (1983) and Women and Religion in Britain and Ireland: An...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.42 × 0.91 inPublished:December 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195121635

ISBN - 13:9780195121636

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I. "Factories of Preachers and Pastors": The Nonconformist Engagement with Theological Education1. Modest Beginnings2. Evaluation and Reform3. The Methodist Quest for an Educated Ministry4. Piety, Education, and MinistryPart II. Ministry and Theology in a New Age: The Nonconformist Engagement with Its Message and with the Culture5. The Ministry Required by the Age6. The Shifting Sands of Religious Authority7. Theology and the Task of Reconstruction8. Nonconformity and Identity: Beyond the Chilling Mists of ControversyConclusion

Editorial Reviews

"Richly detailed analysis of a crucial and neglected chapter of Victorian religious history: the educational preparation of the Nonconformist ministry." American Historical Review