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evangelicalism

evangelicalism. A predominantly Anglican movement stemming from the mid-18th cent., originally with links to Whitefield and methodism, and led by John Fletcher, Henry Venn, and others, its characteristics have been calvinistic with a literalist interpretation of the Bible, sabbatarianism, conversion-preaching, reform of the heart, human sinfulness, and personal salvation. The second generation was wealthy and close to political power; William Wilberforce, a Yorkshire county MP, his cousin Henry Thornton, John Venn, vicar of Clapham, and Charles Simeon formed the Clapham sect, whose aims were the reformation of manners and the abolition of slavery (see anti-slavery). The slave trade was abolished (1807) and slavery itself (1833). Fear of the French Revolution intensified the Clapham sect's attack (1797) on the moral laxity of the privileged as a poor example for the lower orders, and on the weakness of the church and its message. Hannah More, a great propagandist with her Thoughts on the Manners of the Great (1787), and Wilberforce's Proclamation Society called not only for a moral reformation, but respect for government, orderly society, and hard work as part of the moral law. Evangelicalism in achieving increased sobriety by the 1820s anticipated ‘Victorianism’ and also deflected political radicalism. Evangelicalism offered an anchor of stability in a world of turbulence. World-wide mission was another aim, for which the Church Missionary Society (1799) and the British and Foreign Bible Society (1804) were founded. With its best disciples leaving to evangelize overseas, evangelicalism's success in thus promoting 19th-cent. foreign mission, associated with Victorian imperialism, enfeebled it at home, so that by the 1920s, unlike Anglo-catholicism, it lacked its earlier vigour and became narrowly moralistic, conservative, and upper middle class. The Cambridge Christian Union (CICCU), founded 1876 as the watchdog of evangelical orthodoxy, was weak in the 1920s, but revived and spread throughout most universities in the 1930s. Further revival accompanied the visit of the American evangelist Billy Graham (1954). Under John Stott's leadership, its emphasis rather surprisingly changed at Keele (1967) and Nottingham (1977) to embrace ecumenism, increased social responsibility, and greater emphasis on sacramental life.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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"evangelicalism." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"evangelicalism." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/evangelicalism

"evangelicalism." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/evangelicalism

evangelicalism

evangelicalism (Gk. euangelos, ‘good news’ or ‘gospel’) Term applied to several, generally Protestant, tendencies within the Christian Church. In a broad sense it has been applied to Protestantism as a whole because of its claim to base its doctrines strictly on the gospel. Evangelicalism denotes the school which stresses personal conversion and witness of salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ.

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"evangelicalism." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"evangelicalism." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/evangelicalism

"evangelicalism." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/evangelicalism