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The Evangelical Conversion NarrativeSpiritual Autobiography in Early Modern England$
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D. Bruce Hindmarsh

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245758

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199245754.001.0001

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The Revival of Conversion Narrative: Evangelical The Revival of Conversion Narrative: Evangelical Awakening in the Eighteenth Century

The Revival of Conversion Narrative: Evangelical The Revival of Conversion Narrative: Evangelical Awakening in the Eighteenth Century

Chapter:
(p.61) 2 The Revival of Conversion Narrative: Evangelical Awakening in the Eighteenth Century
Source:
The Evangelical Conversion Narrative
Author(s):

D. Bruce Hindmarsh (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199245754.003.0003

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

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