Item description for Taking Heaven by Storm : Methodism and the Popularization of American Christianity (Religion in America Series) by John H. Wigger...
Following the Revolutionary War, American Methodism grew at an astonishing rate, rising from fewer than 1000 members in 1770 to over 250,000 by 1820. In Taking Heaven by Storm, John H. Wigger seeks to explain this remarkable expansion, offering a provocative reassessment of the role of popular religion in American life. Early Methodism was neither bland nor predictable; rather, it was a volatile and innovative movement, both driven and constrained by the hopes and fears of the ordinary Americans who constituted its core. Methodism's style, tone, and agenda worked their way deep into the fabric of American life, Wigger argues, influencing all other mass religious movements that would follow, as well as many facets of American life not directly connected to the church. Wigger examines American Methodism from a variety of angles, focusing in turn on the circuit riders who relentlessly pushed the Methodist movement forward, the critical role of women and African Americans within the movement, the enthusiastic nature of Methodist worship, and the unique community structure of early American Methodism. Under Methodism's influence, American evangelism became far more enthusiastic, egalitarian, entrepreneurial, and lay oriented--characteristics that continue to shape and define popular religion today.
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Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.36" Width: 6.24" Height: 0.96" Weight: 1.38 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 1998
Publisher Oxford University Press
ISBN 0195104528 ISBN13 9780195104523
Availability 52 units. Availability accurate as of May 25, 2017 08:46.
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More About John H. Wigger
John Wigger is Associate Professor of History at the University of Missouri.
John H. Wigger was born in 1959.
John H. Wigger has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Taking Heaven by Storm : Methodism and the Popularization of American Christianity (Religion in America Series)?
A Magnificent Storm Mar 5, 2002
There are books of high quality, and then their are magnificent books. This work by John Wigger is something with which to be especially pleased.
The author, building on some of the themes found in Nathan Hatch's Democratization of American Religion, gives us a glimpse of the early Methodists in America, fleshing out how they were both archetypal representatives of the growth and change in the early decades of the republic and showing us many of the ways in which the Methodists shaped the very identity of Americans. Wigger, and his forerunner, Hatch, draw a strong connection between popular religion of the early 19th Century (of which Methodism was one of the chief representatives) and the development of capitalism and a popular civic sense. Essentially, Wigger's work is a further exploration of Hatch's argument, deepening it to gain understanding of one of the great religious movements of the period.
The book reads very well and does not suffer from the slogging pace so common to many academic works. It deals with a number of themes and introduces the reader to a sampling of some of the interesting features of the history of the early Methodists including a look at the itinerants, how the movement was both attractive to and empowering of women and African Americans, etc.
My only real criticism of the book is a regional bias in its sources of evidence. But this is true of almost any historical work, due to the realities of access to source material for a given researcher. If the reader realizes that there can be other perspectives drawn from different materials, this limitation need not be a problem.
This is a superb work and is useful both to those interested in Methodism and those interested in the broader topic of early American history.