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The Protestant Evangelical Awakening.

Here is a pioneer study of Protestant revival movements that occurred in the First World during the first half of the eighteenth century. The author, emeritus professor of modern history at the University of Durham, England, and a past president of the Ecclesiastical History Society, has worked from a continental European, and not just an Anglo-American, perspective. He has provided in English a condensed account of a very complex history that has depended on exhaustive mining of German sources. He begins with an overview of "the Protestant frame of mind" in the first third of the eighteenth century.

The first two-thirds of the book focuses on revival movements in the politically turbulent arena of Silesia, Austria, Moravia, the Habsburg and Baltic territories, and the Wetterau (Rhineland) between the 1710s and 1740s. Ward surveys the extensive awakening of Pietism and spiritual life in central Europe and the impact that a multitude of persecuted emigrants from that scene had throughout the Continent and along the eastern seaboard of North America. August Hermann Francke and Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf appear as the principal characters in this history because they were remarkably connected with many of the indigenous revival stirrings and much of the ecclesiastical maneuvering that occurred throughout Europe then. The influence of their pace-setting mission ventures was also felt overseas.

The chronology of familiar revivals in the Anglophone world is related to the religiopolitical crises of eastern and central Europe. Fascinating sociocultural insights abound on the Moravians and on revival realities in Switzerland, Wales, Scotland, and Pennsylvania.

The chapters of this compact volume often read like condensed masses of scholarly data. Many volumes could be developed out of this erudite work. Under press constraints, footnotes had to be slashed, but this may be remedied in part by publication of Ward's "Bibliographical Survey of German Pietism, 1680-1740" in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History (1993).
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Author:Smith, A. Christopher
Publication:International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 1993
Words:312
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