Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism in the United Kingdom during the Twentieth Century

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-12-03
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Historians have sometimes argued, and popular discourse certainly assumes, that evangelicalism and fundamentalism are identical. In the twenty-first century, when Islamic fundamentalism is at the center of the world's attention, whether or not evangelicalism should be seen as the Christian version of fundamentalism is an important matter for public understanding. The essays that make up this book analyze this central question. Drawing on empirical evidence from many parts of the United Kingdom and from across the course of the twentieth century, the essays show that fundamentalism certainly existed in Britain, that evangelicals did sometimes show tendencies in a fundamentalist direction, but that evangelicalism in Britain cannot simply be equated with fundamentalism.

The evangelical movement within Protestantism that arose in the wake of the eighteenth-century revival exerted an immense influence on British society over the two subsequent centuries. Christian fundamentalism, by contrast, had its origins in the United States following the publication of The Fundamentals, a series of pamphlets issued to ministers between 1910 and 1915 that was funded by California oilmen. While there was considerable British participation in writing the series, the term "fundamentalist" was invented in an exclusively American context when, in 1920, it was coined to describe the conservative critics of theological liberalism. The fundamentalists in Britain formed only a small section of evangelical opinion that declined over time.

Author Biography

An undergraduate at Jesus College, Cambridge (1968-71), David Bebbington began his doctoral studies there (1971-73) before becoming a research fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (1973-76). Since 1976 he has taught at the University of Stirling, where from 1999 he has been Professor of History. He has also taught at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, at Regent College, Vancouver, at Notre Dame University, Indiana, at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and at Baylor University, Texas.

A native of Port Talbot, David Ceri Jones is currently a Lecturer in History at Aberystwyth University. Following doctoral work on the eighteenth century evangelical revival at Aberystwyth, David served as a Research Fellow at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies where he produced an edition of the correspondence of the Welsh Romantic Iolo Morganwg. Since then he has published extensively in the fields of eighteenth century Methodism in Wales and beyond, and in some aspects of contemporary evangelicalism. He is also an Associate Curate in the Church of Wales, serving three parishes in northern Ceredigion.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism, David Bebbington and David Ceri Jones
I: Before Fundamentalism
2. The British Contribution to The Fundamentals, Geoffrey R. Treloar
3. A Scottish Fundamentalist? Thomas Whitelaw of Kilmarnock (1840?1917), Neil T. R. Dickson
II: The Beginnings of British Fundamentalism
4. The Church of England and Fundamentalism in the Early Twentieth Century, Andrew Atherstone
5. Methodist Fundamentalism before and after the First World War, Martin Wellings
6. Baptists and Fundamentalism in Inter-War Britain, David Bebbington
7. How Fundamentalist were British Brethren during the 1920s?, Tim Grass
8. Women, Men and Fundamentalism in Britain in the 1920s and 30s, Linda Wilson
9. Fundamentalism and Anti-Catholicism in Interwar English Evangelicalism, John Maiden
III: The Later Twentieth Century
10. Billy Graham, Evangelism and Fundamentalism, Ian Randall
11. Evangelical or Fundamentalista The Case of John Stott, Alister Chapman
12. Secession is an Ugly Thing : The Emergence and Development of Free Methodism in Late Twentieth-Century England, Derek Tidball
13. Evangelical, but not Fundamentalist : A Case Study of the New Churches in York, 1980a2011, David Goodhew
IV: National Variations
14. Revivalism and Fundamentalism in Ulster: W. P. Nicholson in Context, Andrew Holmes
15. Fundamentalism in Scotland, Kenneth B. E. Roxburgh
16. Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism in Post-War Wales, 1947--1981? David Ceri Jones, David Ceri Jones
V: Theological Reflections
17. Pentecostalism and Fundamentalism, William K. Kay
18. Evangelical Bases of Faith and Fundamentalizing Tendencies, Rob Warner
19. Evangelicals, Fundamentalism and Theology, Stephen Holmes
20. Conclusion, David Bebbington and David Ceri Jones
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