Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Busy Week

This is a busy week for me. Today, Lin Fisher will give a talk at the Camp House in Chattanooga entitled, "God is Red?: The Politics of Native American Christianity." This is part of the Theology on Tap series in Chattanooga, working in cooperation with UTC's LeRoy Martin Distinguished Lecture Series that I organize for the philosophy and religion department. Next month, on Tuesday, October 28, Kate Bowler from Duke Divinity School will give a talk in this series on "The Death and Afterlife of the American Prosperity Gospel." Stay tuned for information on that event.

Tomorrow morning, I fly to California where I will participate in the biennial meeting of the Conference on Faith and History held at Pepperdine University. I will be giving a talk on "Early Evangelicals, Print Culture, and Their Publics" on Friday, September 26 at the 2:30pm-4:00pm session, and then I will be chairing a roundtable discussion on Friday from 4:30pm-6:00pm on "Evangelicalism in Modern Britain Turns 25: Reexamining David Bebbington's 'Quadrilateral' Thesis," featuring papers by Darren Dochuk, Mark Noll, and Molly Worthen, with David Bebbington offering comments. All the papers, including Bebbington's response, will be published in an upcoming issue of Fides et Historia along with the papers given by Amanda Porterfield, Kelly Elliott, and Tommy Kidd at the previous American Society of Church History conference. The CFH session should be fun, with (I hope) some lively interaction on the definition of evangelicalism.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Book Three with OUP

I am excited to announce that I have a third contract with Oxford University Press to publish a book entitled, Jonathan Edwards and Transatlantic Print Culture. In this single-authored monograph, I will be analyzing how Edwards's works were published during the eighteenth century, in order to illuminate the larger transatlantic world of printing and communications of early evangelicals.

Stay tuned for more information about this project in future posts.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

The McCulloch Manuscript

I recently finished reading The McCulloch Examinations of the Cambuslang Revival, edited by Keith Beebe. This is a two-volume critical edition of a manuscript originally transcribed by the parish minister of Cambuslang, William McCulloch, who interviewed 109 people that had reportedly experienced conversion during revivals in his parish during the summer of 1742.

While scholars are generally familiar with the Great Awakening in America, very few people know that significant revivals took place at roughly the same time in England, Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland, and Wales. In Scotland, the largest revival occurred at Cambuslang and the surrounding western region in 1742. Although the parish of Cambuslang consisted of only about 1,000 people, the revival there drew estimated crowds of 30,000 to 50,000 during its two communion services in July and August at a time when the nearby town of Glasgow had some 17,000 residents. McCulloch intended to publish his interviews, but for various reasons, never did. Instead, the two-volume manuscript remained with him until his death in 1771, when it was passed down through the family to his granddaughter Janet Coutts, who eventually donated it to the New College Library at Edinburgh in May 1844.

Beebe has done an important service for scholars interested in eighteenth-century transatlantic revivals, and Scottish evangelicalism in particular. Until now, scholars wanting to learn about the Cambuslang revival had to rely on secondary sources like Arthur Fawcett's often cited Cambuslang Revival, and published essays by T. C. Smout, Ned Landsman, and other historians. With the publication of The McCulloch Examinations of the Cambuslang Revival, scholars can now consult the heavily annotated conversion narratives of each person interviewed as well as the editorial additions and deletions made by McCulloch and four other ministers.