Evangelicalism in Modern Britain.

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1


The unit commences by examining the varied responses of the British churches to the Age of Reason in the eighteenth century.  Particular attention is given to the relationship between the Enlightenment and the transatlantic evangelical revival.  The influence of romantic ideas on the development of evangelicalism is also analysed.  The role of the Evangelical Alliance as it developed from the nineteenth to the twentieth century is traced.  Evangelical spirituality is analysed and evangelical engagement with other forms of spirituality discussed.  The final part of the unit includes study of Pentecostal and charismatic movements in their cultural context and the cultural configuration now commonly known as post-modernism and its relationship with evangelical faith.  Students are encouraged to make connections between historical materials and contemporary concerns.


To understand some contemporary ideas within evangelical thinking in the light of historical developments.


Category of outcome

By the end of this unit students should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

·         Demonstrate specific knowledge of the main historical and theological trends discernible within the subject

Intellectual skills

·         Display a sympathetic and appropriately critical appreciation of the views of those whose stand-point in debate is different from their own

·         Handle primary historical sources

Practical and Transferable skills; Personal qualities

·         Describe and analyse the complexity of the historical background and relate this historical background to wider issues

·         Work in groups


Assessment task


Weighting within unit


·         An exegesis of an extract from primary material in groups in class           






·         An essay


2500-3000 words






Available on which programme(s)?

BA in Theology


·         Material on the origins and the nature of evangelicalism; Enlightenment thinking and evangelicalism 

·         The eighteenth century evangelical revival: John Wesley, George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards

·         Eighteenth-century evangelical hymnody: worship and spirituality

·         The impact of evangelicalism and Old Dissent; evangelicalism within Anglicanism

·         Evangelical social action: William Wilberforce, Hannah More and the ‘Clapham Sect’

·         Evangelicalism in the nineteenth century; Romanticism; the Evangelical Alliance of 1846 

·         Social work and evangelism: George Müller, Moody and Sankey

·         The Welsh Revival of 1905; Pentecostalism

·         The evangelical renaissance at the end of the Second World War: F.F. Bruce, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Stott

·         The ‘Futures of Evangelicalism’; postmodernism; immigration

Teaching method

Interactive lectures

Additional eLearning content

Unit materials are available at Spurgeon’s Online to support student learning


Written feedback within 15 working days from submission

Date of approval (for office use)


Information updated on

December 2015

Indicative reading

Bebbington, David W., Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s (London: Routledge, 1989)

Bebbington, David W., The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody (Leicester: IVP, 2005)

Grenz, Stanley J., Renewing the Centre: Evangelical Theology in a Post-Theological era (Carlisle: Paternoster, 2001)

Haykin, Michael A.G. and Kenneth J. Stewart (eds), The Emergence of Evangelicalism (Leicester: IVP, 2008)

Lalleman, Pieter J., Peter J. Morden and Anthony R. Cross (eds), Grounded in Grace: Essays to Honour Ian M. Randall (London: Spurgeon’s College / Baptist Historical Society, 2013)

Morden, Peter J., The Life and Thought of Andrew Fuller (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2015)

Morden, Peter J., ‘Communion with Christ and his People’: The Spirituality of C.H. Spurgeon (1834-92) (Oxford: Regent’s Park College, 2010 / Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2014)

Noll, Mark A., The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield and the Wesleys (Leicester: IVP, 2004)

Rack, Henry D., Reasonable Enthusiast: John Wesley and the Rise of Methodism (London: Epworth, 1989)

Randall, Ian M., What a Friend We Have in Jesus: The Evangelical Tradition (London: DLT, 2005)

Wolffe, John, The Expansion of Evangelicalism: The Age of Wilberforce, More, Chalmers and Finney (Leicester, IVP, 2006)

Wright, Nigel G., The Radical Evangelical: Seeking a place to stand (London: SPCK, 1996)

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Evangelicalism in Modern Britain.

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
Course Unit 347





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Dr Peter J. Morden

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