Pedlar in Divinity
George Whitefield and the Transatlantic Revivals, 1737-1770
By (author) Frank Lambert
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Pedlar in Divinity by Frank Lambert
Book DescriptionA pioneer in the commercialization of religion, George Whitefield (1714-1770) is seen by many as the most powerful leader of the Great Awakening in America: through his passionate ministry he united local religious revivals into a national movement before there was a nation. An itinerant British preacher who spent much of his adult life in the American colonies, Whitefield was an immensely popular speaker. Crossing national boundaries and ignoring ecclesiastical controls, he preached outdoors or in public houses and guild halls. In London, crowds of more than thirty thousand gathered to hear him, and his audiences exceeded twenty thousand in Philadelphia and Boston. In this fresh interpretation of Whitefield and his age, Frank Lambert focuses not so much on the evangelist's oratorical skills as on the marketing techniques that he borrowed from his contemporaries in the commercial world. What emerges is a fascinating account of the birth of consumer culture in the eighteenth century, especially the new advertising methods available to those selling goods and services--or salvation. Whitefield faced a problem similar to that of the new Atlantic merchants: how to reach an ever-expanding audience of anonymous strangers, most of whom he would never see face-to-face. To contact this mass "congregation," Whitefield exploited popular print, especially newspapers. In addition, he turned to a technique later imitated by other evangelists such as Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham: the deployment of advance publicity teams to advertise his coming presentations. Immersed in commerce themselves, Whitefield's auditors appropriated him as a well-publicized English import. He preached against the excesses and luxuries of the spreading consumer society, but he drew heavily on the new commercialism to explain his mission to himself and to his transatlantic audience.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691096162
(229mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 18-Nov-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Frank Lambert
Religion in American Politics, Paperback (February 2010)
The delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention blocked the establishment of Christianity as a national religion. But they could not keep religion out of American politics. This title shows that religion became sectarian and partisan whenever it entered the political fray, and that religious agendas have always mixed with nonreligious ones.
Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America, Paperback (February 2006)
How did the United States, founded as colonies with explicitly religious aspirations, come to be the first modern state whose commitment to the separation of church and state was reflected in its constitution? This title explains why this happened, offering in the process a synthesis of American history.
Inventing the Great Awakening, Paperback (January 2001)» View all books by Frank Lambert
Features the history of an evangelical revival known in America as the "Great Awakening"ï¿½'. This book offers an overview of this episode and proposes an explanation of its origins. It demonstrates that the Great Awakening was invented not by historians but by eighteenth-century evangelicals who were skillful and enthusiastic religious promoters.
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Author Biography - Frank Lambert
Frank Lambert is Associate Professor of History at Purdue University and the author of "Inventing the "Great Awakening"" (Princeton).
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