Creating the Salvation Army

Pamela J. Walker

in Pulling the Devil's Kingdom Down

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2001 | ISBN: 9780520225916
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925854 | DOI:
Creating the Salvation Army

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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The Christian Mission was part of a broad evangelical missionary effort to reach the urban working class. Its theology drew on Methodism, American revivalism, and the holiness movement. William Booth's open-air preaching was similar to the work which had been carried out by evangelicals for decades. The Mission, however, differed from other home missions. The authority it granted women, its emphasis on holiness theology and revivalist methods, its growing independence, and its strict hierarchical structure were all features that sharply distinguished it from its contemporaries. As the movement grew, William Booth determined that the democratic system borrowed from the Methodists for the first fourteen years had to be abandoned in favor of an autocratic and hierarchical structure. Under the banner of the Salvation Army, disciplined and faithful soldiers and officers fought the enemy in the streets, music halls, and gin palaces of England's urban working-class communities.

Keywords: Christian Mission; working class; theology; Methodism; revivalism; William Booth; Salvation Army; England

Chapter.  10167 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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