Chapter

<i>The Revival of Conversion Narrative: Evangelical</i> <i>The Revival of Conversion Narrative: Evangelical</i> <i>Awakening in the Eighteenth Century</i>

D. Bruce Hindmarsh

in The Evangelical Conversion Narrative

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199245758
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602436 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199245754.003.0003
 The Revival of Conversion Narrative: Evangelical   The Revival of Conversion Narrative: Evangelical   Awakening in the Eighteenth Century

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A new episode in the history of spiritual autobiography opened in the late 1730s with the advent of transatlantic Evangelical Revival, and the distinguishing characteristic of this revival or ‘work’ in all its manifestations was the increased incidence of the conversion of individuals. Unlike earlier periods of heightened religious fervour, the revival was uniquely concentrated in time and extended across space. Changes in the North Atlantic world helped to create ‘modern’ conditions for this phenomenon, particularly with the rapid spread of religious news through itinerancy, letter-writing, and the periodical press and the more extensive movement of people, goods, and ideas in the period generally. Includes the case study of the early evangelical Joseph Humphreys—since Humphreys’s experience illustrates how the larger Evangelical Revival was itself constituted by individual conversion experiences, and how these experiences so often compelled converts to retell their life’s story from the beginning, even venturing sometimes to do so in print before an anonymous public.

Keywords: conversion; Evangelical Revival; Joseph Humphreys; modern; movement; news; North Atlantic; periodical press

Chapter.  12544 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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