Serving the Present Age

Serving the Present Age

Revivalism, Progressivism and the Methodist Tradition in Canada

eBook - 1992
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During the nineteenth century, revivalism spurred the rapid growth of Methodism in Canada, helping to make it the largest Protestant denomination in the country at the time of Confederation. But, at the dawn of the new century, the revivalist and perfectionist ideals spawned by John Wesley came face to face with a changing world and the Methodist church underwent a pivotal transition. In her examination of this transition, Phyllis Airhart considers the key role Methodism played in the collapse of the nineteenth-century evangelical consensus and discusses the way in which the changes in Methodism decisively shaped twentieth-century mainstream Protestantism in Canada.

Essential to Methodist revivalism was the personal conversion experience, which constituted the basis of salvation and church membership. Revivalism, maintains Airhart, was a distinctive form of piety and socialization that was critical in helping Methodists define who they were, colouring their understanding of how religion was to be experienced, practised, articulated, and cultivated. This revivalist piety, even more than doctrine or policy, was the identifying mark of Methodism in the nineteenth century. But, during the late Victorian era, the Methodist presentation of the religious life underwent a transformation. By 1925, when the Methodist Church was incorporated into the United Church of Canada, its most prominent leaders were espousing an approach to piety that was essentially, and sometimes explicitly, non-revivalist. The Methodist approach to personal religion changed during this transition and, significantly, Methodists increasingly became identified with social Christianity -- although experience remained a key aspect of their theology. There was also a growing tendency to associate revivalism with fundamentalism, a new religious development that used the Methodist language of conversion but was unappealing to Canadian Methodists. Airhart portrays the tensions between tradition and innovation through stories of the men and women who struggled to revitalize religion in an age when conventional social assumptions and institutions were being challenged by the ideals of the progressive movement. Serving the Present Age is an account of Canadian Methodist participation in a realignment of North American Protestantism which supporters believed would better enable them, in the words of a well-known Wesley hymn, "to serve the present age."


McGill Queens Univ Pr
During the nineteenth century, revivalism spurred the rapid growth of Methodism in Canada, helping to make it the largest Protestant denomination in the country at the time of Confederation. But, at the dawn of the new century, the revivalist and perfectionist ideals spawned by John Wesley came face to face with a changing world and the Methodist church underwent a pivotal transition. In her examination of this transition, Phyllis Airhart considers the key role Methodism played in the collapse of the nineteenth-century evangelical consensus and discusses the way in which the changes in Methodism decisively shaped twentieth-century mainstream Protestantism in Canada.

Essential to Methodist revivalism was the personal conversion experience, which constituted the basis of salvation and church membership. Revivalism, maintains Airhart, was a distinctive form of piety and socialization that was critical in helping Methodists define who they were, colouring their understanding of how religion was to be experienced, practised, articulated, and cultivated. This revivalist piety, even more than doctrine or policy, was the identifying mark of Methodism in the nineteenth century. But, during the late Victorian era, the Methodist presentation of the religious life underwent a transformation. By 1925, when the Methodist Church was incorporated into the United Church of Canada, its most prominent leaders were espousing an approach to piety that was essentially, and sometimes explicitly, non-revivalist. The Methodist approach to personal religion changed during this transition and, significantly, Methodists increasingly became identified with social Christianity -- although experience remained a key aspect of their theology. There was also a growing tendency to associate revivalism with fundamentalism, a new religious development that used the Methodist language of conversion but was unappealing to Canadian Methodists. Airhart portrays the tensions between tradition and innovation through stories of the men and women who struggled to revitalize religion in an age when conventional social assumptions and institutions were being challenged by the ideals of the progressive movement. Serving the Present Age is an account of Canadian Methodist participation in a realignment of North American Protestantism which supporters believed would better enable them, in the words of a well-known Wesley hymn, "to serve the present age."

During the nineteenth century, revivalism spurred the rapid growth of Methodism in Canada, helping to make it the largest Protestant denomination in the country at the time of Confederation. But, at the dawn of the new century, the revivalist and perfectionist ideals spawned by John Wesley came face to face with a changing world and the Methodist church underwent a pivotal transition. In her examination of this transition, Phyllis Airhart considers the key role Methodism played in the collapse of the nineteenth-century evangelical consensus and discusses the way in which the changes in Methodism decisively shaped twentieth-century mainstream Protestantism in Canada.
Essential to Methodist revivalism was the personal conversion experience, which constituted the basis of salvation and church membership. Revivalism, maintains Airhart, was a distinctive form of piety and socialization that was critical in helping Methodists define who they were, colouring their understanding of how religion was to be experienced, practised, articulated, and cultivated. This revivalist piety, even more than doctrine or policy, was the identifying mark of Methodism in the nineteenth century. But, during the late Victorian era, the Methodist presentation of the religious life underwent a transformation. By 1925, when the Methodist Church was incorporated into the United Church of Canada, its most prominent leaders were espousing an approach to piety that was essentially, and sometimes explicitly, non-revivalist.The Methodist approach to personal religion changed during this transition and, significantly, Methodists increasingly became identified with social Christianity -- although experience remained a key aspect of their theology. There was also a growing tendency to associate revivalism with fundamentalism, a new religious development that used the Methodist language of conversion but was unappealing to Canadian Methodists. Airhart portrays the tensions between tradition and innovation through stories of the men and women who struggled to revitalize religion in an age when conventional social assumptions and institutions were being challenged by the ideals of the progressive movement. Serving the Present Age is an account of Canadian Methodist participation in a realignment of North American Protestantism which supporters believed would better enable them, in the words of a well-known Wesley hymn, "to serve the present age."

Blackwell North Amer
The personal conversion experience was essential to Methodist revivalism and constituted the basis of salvation and church membership. Phyllis Airhart maintains that revivalism was a distinctive form of piety and socialization that was critical in helping Methodists define who they were, colouring their understanding of how religion was to be experienced, practised, articulated, and cultivated. This revivalist piety, even more than doctrine or policy, was the identifying mark of Methodism in the nineteenth century. But during the late Victorian era, the Methodist presentation of the religious life underwent a transformation. By 1925, when the Methodist Church was incorporated into the United Church of Canada, its most prominent leaders were espousing an approach to piety that was essentially, and sometimes explicitly, non-revivalist.
The Methodist approach to personal religion changed during this transition and, significantly, Methodists increasingly became identified with social Christianity--although experience remained a key aspect of their theology. There was also a growing tendency to associate revivalism with fundamentalism, a new religious development that used the Methodist language of conversion but was unappealing to Canadian Methodists. Airhart portrays the tensions between tradition and innovation through stories of the men and women who struggled to revitalize religion in an age when conventional social assumptions and institutions were being challenged by the ideals of the progressive movement. Serving the Present Age is an account of Canadian Methodist participation in a realignment of North American Protestantism that supporters believed would better enable them, in the words of a well-known Wesley hymn, "to serve the present age."

Publisher: Montreal [Que.] : McGill-Queen's University Press, Ă1992
ISBN: 9780773563193
0773563199
9780773508828
0773508821
Characteristics: 1 online resource (x, 218 pages)

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