Thursday, 12 January 2012

Religion in the Age of Wesley, Whitefield, and Edwards

The second course that I am teaching this semester is a new offering at UTC. This is a course that I developed based on my interest and expertise in eighteenth-century evangelicalism. I've entitled it: "Religion in the Age of Wesley, Whitefield, and Edwards." The course is designed to teach students about not only important figures like John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, and Jonathan Edwards, but also lesser-known leaders of eighteenth-century evangelicalism.

The main text for the course is Mark Noll's The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield, and the Wesleys. This is the obvious choice for a class on this subject. My hope is that the time in class will allow me to test some of the material that I am putting together for an anthology that is forthcoming with Oxford University Press, as well as giving students the opportunity to do original research on some of the more obscure evangelicals in the eighteenth century.

As part of the course, students will write a research paper on a lesser-known American evangelical. These are the choices:

Francis Asbury, Isaac Backus, Aaron Burr Sr., Joseph Bellamy, Benjamin Colman, Samuel Davies, Jonathan Dickinson, Timothy Dwight, Nathaniel Emmons, Olaudah Equiano, Samuel Finley, Thomas Foxcroft, Samuel Hopkins, Samuel Miller, Jedidiah Morse, Charles Nisbet, Samson Occom, Sarah Osborn, Thomas Prince, Solomon Stoddard, Eleazar Wheelock, Phyillis Wheatley, or John Witherspoon

I am limiting the list to names that can be researched through the on-line Evans collection of early American imprints that is made available through the Lupton Library at UTC. Although I would have liked for students to have access to Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO), this database would cost the university (at last quote) somewhere in the neighborhood of $150,000 in start-up costs.

Besides the final research paper, I am requiring students to write two book reviews. For the first, they will select one of three options. Option one is George Marsden's Jonathan Edwards: A Life. Option two is to read and write a review of Harry Stout's The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism AND Frank Lambert's "Pedlar in Divinity": George Whitefield and the Transatlantic Revivals, 1737-1770. And option three is Henry Rack's Reasonable Enthusiast: John Wesley and the Rise of Methodism.

For their second book review, students will select a text from the following list:

• Dee E. Andrews, The Methodists and Revolutionary America, 1760-1800: The Shaping of an Evangelical Culture (Princeton, 2001)

• Catherine Brekus, Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740-1845 (UNC, 1998)

• Joanna Brooks, American Lazarus: Religion and the Rise of African-American and Native American Literatures (Oxford, 2003)

• Vicki Tolar Burton, Spiritual Literacy in John Wesley’s Methodism: Reading, Writing, and Speaking to Believe (Baylor, 2008)

• Vincent Carretta, Equiano the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man (Georgia, 2005)

• J.C.D. Clark, English Society, 1660-1832: Religion, Ideology and Politics during the Ancien RĂ©gime (Cambridge, 2000)

• Vincent Carretta, Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage (Georgia, 2011)

• Milton J. Coalter, Gilbert Tennent, Son of Thunder: A Case Study of Continental Pietism’s Impact on the First Great Awakening in the Middle Colonies (Praeger, 1986)

• Joseph A. Conforti, Samuel Hopkins and the New Divinity Movement: Calvinism, the Congregational Ministry, and Reform in New England Between the Great Awakenings (Eerdmans, 1981)

• John Corrigan, The Prism of Piety: Catholick Congregational Clergy at the Beginning of the Enlightenment (Oxford, 1991)

• Michael J. Crawford, Seasons of Grace: Colonial New England’s Revival Tradition in Its British Context (Oxford, 1991)

• Derek H. Davis, Religion and the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 (Oxford, 2000)

• Katherine Carte Engel, Religion and Profit: Moravians in Early America (Pennsylvania, 2011)

• John Fea, The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America (Pennsylvania, 2009)

• John Fea, Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction (Westminster John Knox, 2011)

• John R. Fitzmier, New England’s Moral Legislator: Timothy Dwight, 1752-1817 (Indiana, 1998)

• Richard L. Gawthrop, Pietism and the Making of Eighteenth-Century Prussia (Cambridge, 1993)

• John A. Grigg, The Lives of David Brainerd: The Making of an American Evangelical Icon (Oxford, 2009)

• Allen C. Guelzo, Edwards on the Will: A Century of American Theological Debate (Wipf and Stock, 2008)

• David D. Hall, A Reforming People: Puritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New England (Knopf, 2011)

• Timothy D. Hall, Contested Boundaries: Itinerancy and the Reshaping of the Colonial American Religious World (Duke, 1994)

• David Hempton, Methodism: Empire of the Spirit (Yale, 2005)

• D. Bruce Hindmarsh, The Evangelical Conversion Narrative: Spiritual Autobiographies in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2008)

• D. Bruce Hindmarsh, John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition (Eerdmans, 1996)

• David L. Holmes, The Faiths of the Founding Fathers (Oxford, 2006)

• David Ceri Jones, ‘A Glorious Work in the World’: Welsh Methodism and the International Evangelical Revival, 1735-1750 (Cardiff, 2004)

• Thomas S. Kidd, God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Religion (Basic Books, 2010)

• Thomas S. Kidd, The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America (Yale, 2009)

• David W. Kling, A Field of Divine Wonder: the New Divinity and Village Revivals in Northeastern Connecticut, 1792-1822 (Pennsylvania, 1993)

• Frank Lambert, The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America (Princeton, 2006)

• Frank Lambert, Inventing the “Great Awakening” (Princeton, 2001)

• Ned C. Landsman, From Colonials to Provincials: American Thought and Culture, 1680-1760 (Cornell, 2000)

• Rebecca Larson, Daughters of Light: Quaker Women Preaching and Prophesying in the Colonies and Abroad, 1700-1775 (UNC, 2000)

• Bryan F. Le Beau, Jonathan Dickinson and the Formative Years of American Presbyterianism (Kentucky, 1997)

• Cynthia Lynn Lyerly, Methodism and the Southern Mind, 1770-1810 (Oxford, 2006)

• Jerome Dean Mahaffey, The Accidental Revolutionary: George Whitefield and the Creation of America (Baylor, 2011)

• Jerome Dean Mahaffey, Preaching Politics: The Religious Rhetoric of George Whitefield and the Founding of a New Nation (Baylor, 2007)

• Gerald R. McDermott, Jonathan Edwards Confronts the Gods: Christian Theology, Enlightenment Religion, and Non-Christian Faiths (Oxford, 2000)

• Richard Newman, Freedom’s Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding Fathers (NYU, 2009)

• Amanda Porterfield, Female Piety in Puritan New England: The Emergence of Religious Humanism (Oxford, 1991)

• Clotilde Prunier, Anti-Catholic Strategies in Eighteenth-Century Scotland (Peter Lang, 2004)

• Sarah Rivett, The Science of the Soul in Colonial New England (UNC, 2011)

• J. Rixey Ruffin, A Paradise of Reason: William Bentley and Enlightenment Christianity in the Early Republic (Oxford, 2007)

• John Saillant, Black Puritan, Black Republican: The Life and Thought of Lemuel Haynes, 1753-1833 (Oxford, 2002)

• Sharon V. Salinger, Taverns and Drinking in Early America (Johns Hopkins, 2004)

• Jonathan D. Sassi, Republic of Righteousness: The Public Christianity of the Post-Revolutionary New England Clergy (Oxford, 2008)

• Leigh Eric Schmidt, Holy Fairs: Scotland and the Making of American Revivalism (Eerdmans, 2001)

• Robert E. Schofield, The Enlightened Joseph Priestley: A Study of His Life and Work from 1773 to 1804 (Penn State, 2009)

• Erik R. Seeman, Pious Persuasions: Laity and Clergy in Eighteenth-Century New England (Johns Hopkins, 1999)

• Richard B. Sher, Church and University in the Scottish Enlightenment: the Moderate Literati of Edinburgh (Princeton and Edinburgh, 1985)

• John Howard Smith, The Perfect Rule of the Christian Religion: A History of Sandemanianism in the Eighteenth Century (SUNY, 2010)

• David Sorkin, The Religious Enlightenment: Protestants, Jews, and Catholics from London to Vienna (Princeton, 2010)

• Harry Stout, The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England (Oxford, 1988)

• John R. Tyson, Assist Me to Proclaim: The Life and Hymns of Charles Wesley (Eerdmans, 2008)

• Mark Valeri, Heavenly Merchandize: How Religion Shaped Commerce in Puritan America (Princeton, 2010)

• Mark Valeri, Law and Providence in Joseph Bellamy’s New England: The Origins of the New Divinity in Revolutionary America (Oxford, 1994)

• W. R. Ward, Early Evangelicalism: A Global Intellectual History, 1670-1789 (Cambridge, 2010)

• W. R. Ward The Protestant Evangelical Awakening (Cambridge, 2002)

• Marilyn J. Westerkamp, Triumph of the Laity: Scots-Irish Piety and the Great Awakening, 1625-1760 (Oxford, 1987)

• Marilyn J. Westerkamp, Women and Religion in Early America: 1600-1850 (Routledge, 1999)

• Rachel Wheeler, To Live Upon Hope: Mohicans and Missionaries in the Eighteenth-Century Northeast (Cornell, 2008)

• John Wigger, Taking Heaven by Storm: Methodism and the Rise of Popular Christianity in America (Oxford, 1998 and Illinois, 2001)

• John Wigger, American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists (Oxford, 2009)

• Robert J. Wilson, The Benevolent Deity: Ebenezer Gay and the Rise of Rational Religion in New England, 1696-1787 (Pennsylvania, 1984)

• B.W. Young, Religion and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century England (Oxford, 1998)

I've tried to be thorough with this list, giving students the chance to pick a book on a topic that interests them, and covering various disciplines--theology, history, gender, politics, etc. If you have any further suggestions of books to add, I would welcome your input.

Jonathan Yeager

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