Early evangelicalism flourished during the transatlantic revivals of the eighteenth century, coinciding with the emergence of the Enlightenment in America and Europe. Today, most people associate it with only a few of its leaders-namely Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, and George Whitefield-despite the fact that this religious movement crossed nations as well as different traditions within Christianity.
Those responsible for the growth of evangelicalism were Anglicans, Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists, Moravians, and Presbyterians and could be found in America, Canada, Great Britain, and Western Europe. They published hymns, historical works, poems, political pamphlets, revival accounts, sermons, and theological treatises. There are also records of their conversion experiences, and diaries that chronicle their spiritual development. Jonathan M. Yeager's anthology introduces a host of important religious figures, providing biographical sketches of each author and over sixty excerpts from a wide range of well-known and lesser-known Protestant Christians. Early Evangelicalism: A Reader promises to be the most comprehensive sourcebook of its kind.
Jonathan Yeager is Maclellan Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he teaches courses in religious history and thought. He is the author of Enlightened Evangelicalism: The Life and Thought of John Erskine (2011).
"[A] helpful new publication." --Baptist Quarterly
"In recent days, a number of historians have lamented the path taken by evangelicalism, regarding it as a regrettable dumbing-down of the doctrinal richness of the Reformation. But Yeager's collection speaks better things -- it reveals a powerful movement, theologically rich with true affective interiority, that brought about a profound transformation of life and culture in the trans-Atlantic world." --Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
"This is a very encouraging read. It will no doubt find its place as a leading source book for students of the period but could equally be used as an edifying stimulant for spiritual meditation as part of a daily quiet time." --Churchman
"Jonathan Yeager's Early Evangelicalism
is a definitive document collection on the broad sweep of eighteenth-century evangelical faith. The book's authors, who hailed from North America, Britain, and the Continent, range from learned theologians to lyrical hymnists and earnest diarists. Anyone interested in evangelical Christianity will profit from Yeager's wealth of resources." --Thomas S. Kidd, author of The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America
"This helpful collection of works from those involved in the development of evangelicalism will be of interest to Baptist historians, especially those with an interest in the re-energising of Baptist life which took place in the mid to late eighteenth century." --Baptist Quarterly
"The purpose of this compact volume is to make as many texts as possible from early evangelical preachers, poets and memoirists available to a student, and wider, readership... it is helpful to have them assembled between one set of covers, especially with the simultaneous publication of a paperback edition, and this volume will be a convenient resource for teachers and students. Moreover, by illuminating the range and variety of evangelical thought, some of it relatively unfamiliar, it should prove a stimulus to further investigation into the history and mindset of early evangelicalism." --Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies