Chapter

The Interpretation of Revival

David Bebbington

in Victorian Religious Revivals

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199575480
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741449 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575480.003.0002
The Interpretation of Revival

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Providential accounts of revival form a long-standing school of their interpretation, designed to encourage more of them. Early twentieth-century scholars offered a psychological way of understanding them as bouts of emotionalism, but that approach has been discarded. Subsequent study associated revivalism with the frontier, social control, economic change or social integration, but only the last of these retains some of its explanatory power for contemporary historians. There has been a rising tendency to pay attention to features of culture and piety that moulded revivals, but that process needs to be taken much further by their systematic exploration. As a result revivals can be grasped in their international and local contexts.

Keywords: revival; providential; psychological; frontier; social control; economic change; social integration; culture; piety

Chapter.  14959 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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