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Heart Religion in the British Enlightenment: Gender and Emotion in Early Methodism

Heart Religion in the British Enlightenment: Gender and Emotion in Early Methodism

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Phyllis Mack
Cambridge University Press, 2008-08-14
EAN 9780521889186, ISBN10: 0521889189

Paperback, 342 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.2 cm

This is a major new study of the daily life and spirituality of early Methodist men and women. Phyllis Mack challenges traditional, negative depictions of early Methodism through an analysis of a vast array of primary sources - prayers, pamphlets, hymns, diaries, recipes, private letters, accounts of dreams, rules for housekeeping - many of which have never been used before. She examines how ordinary men and women understood the seismic shift from the religious culture of the seventeenth century to the so-called ‘disenchantment of the world’ that developed out of the Enlightenment. She places particular emphasis on the experience of women, arguing that both their spirituality and their contributions to the movement were different from men’s. This revisionist account sheds new light on how ordinary people understood their experience of religious conversion, marriage, worship, sexuality, friendship, and the supernatural, and what motivated them to travel the world as missionaries.

'This is an important revisionist study that will necessitate a re-evaluation of the eighteenth century development of Methodism and an expression of its dynamism.' The Historical Association

‘… for the general reader this is a well-presented and brilliant book. I commend it heartily.’ The Methodist Recorder