George Whitefield: Evangelist for God and Empire
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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2018 / Paperback
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George Whitefield: Evangelist for God and Empire

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2018 / Paperback

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George Whitefield (1714-1770) is remembered as a spirited revivalist, a catalyst for the Great Awakening, and a founder of the evangelical movement in America. But Whitefield was also a citizen of the British Empire who used his political savvy and theological creativity to champion the cause of imperial expansion. In this religious biography of "the Grand Itinerant," author Peter Choi reexamines the Great Awakening and its relationship to a fast-growing British Empire in the context of a dramatic human story.

As the British Empire and the Great Awakening evolved, so did Whitefield and his influence. Rather than focusing on his early preaching career, as many books do, Choi follows the trajectory of Whitefield's whole life, including his relation,ships to Britain, the American colonies, slavery, war, and higher education. George Whitefield: Evangelist for God and Empire tells the fascinating, multifaceted life story of Whitefield both as revivalist preacher and subject of the British Empire.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0802875491
ISBN-13: 9780802875495
Series: Library of Religious Biography (LRB)

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Publisher's Description

Narrates the drama of a famous preacher’s entire career in his historical context

GEORGE WHITEFIELD (1714–1770) is remembered as a spirited revivalist, a catalyst for the Great Awakening, and a founder of the evangelical movement in America. But Whitefield was also a citizen of the British Empire who used his political savvy and theological creativity to champion the cause of imperial expansion. In this religious biography of "the Grand Itinerant," Peter Choi recounts a fascinating human story and, in the process, reexamines the Great Awakening and its relationship to a fast-growing British Empire.

Author Bio


Peter Y. Choi is Director of Academic Programs at Newbigin House of Studies and a pastor at City Church in San Francisco. Specializing in eighteenth-century American history, he has taught history of Christianity courses at Calvin Theological Seminary and the University of Notre Dame.

Editorial Reviews

Christopher Grasso
— College of William and Mary
"Rather than emphasizing, as most studies do, George Whitefield’s role in the dramatic events of New England’s ’Great Awakening,’ Peter Choi concentrates on Whitefield’s own focus—his orphanage in Georgia. Pushing past the turmoil of the early 1740s, Choi studies the neglected second half of the Grand Itinerant’s public career, after the revival fires had cooled. This provocative book’s Whitefield is not merely a celebrity evangelist; he is an imperial strategist, a tactical theologian, and an empire builder who becomes an eager slaveholder and wartime propagandist. He embodies the central dynamics of the British Atlantic world in the eighteenth century."

Margaret Bendroth
— Congregational Library & Archives, Boston
"Peter Choi shows us a George Whitefield we never knew, not just the fiery revival preacher but the pragmatic entrepreneur, a canny citizen of the British Empire. The result is a skillful and complex moral portrait of Whitefield—and a telling parable of American evangelicalism in the making."

Publishers Weekly (STARRED review)
"Impressive. . . . Accessible prose and clear signposting make this an excellent choice for a general reader, and Choi’s engagement with broader issues of 18th-century colonialism will make it an important volume for scholars of early America. "

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