A fervent millennial hope has often existed at the heart of Protestant evangelicalism. Varieties of eschatology have exercised a profound impact on the movement's theology and history. Although millennialism had a respected lineage within conservative Protestantism, it flourished with enormous energy in the early nineteenth century as evangelicals responded to the threat of the American and European revolutions and the cultural pessimism of the Romantic movement. By mid-century, the millennialism that had first been articulated for the defense of Protestant conservatism had paved the way for the subversion of historic theology and church practice, as a growing confidence in biblical inerrancy and the "literal" hermeneutic challenged many of the historical assumptions of the evangelical faith.
This volume of essays expands on neglected aspects of the impact of the evangelical millennialism in Britain and Ireland between 1800 and 1880, and includes an essay charting recent trends in the study of millennialism.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"The best historical work balances two different tasks--fair treatment of the subjects studied and perceptive analysis of how and why they acted or believed as they did. In these terms, 'Prisoners of Hope?' is a model volume. It treats the millennial beliefs of nineteenth-century British and Irish evangelical Protestants as significant truth claims in themselves, but also as revealing indications of involvements in broader political, social, and ecclesiastical contexts. The book offers fresh reading as well as fresh stimulus for further research." --Mark Noll, Wheaton College
"This is a well-written, well-edited and important book. At a time when--enflamed by the events of 9/11 and its aftermath--an apocalyptic fever is running high in some parts of the Christian tradition, it is important that we all understand something of the enduring persistance of the millennial dream. This book is a significant contribution to that task." --Kenneth G. C. Newport, Liverpool Hope University
Crawford Gribben Timothy C. F. Stunt David W. Bebbington
Crawford Gribben has taught in Scotland, Ireland and Switzerland, and is currently Lecturer in Renaissance Literature and Culture, University of Manchester. He is the author of The Puritan Millennium: Literature and Theology, 1550-1682 (2000).
Timothy C. F. Stunt has taught in England, Switzerland and the USA. He has contributed numerous articles to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and is the author of From Awakening to Secession: Radical Evangelicals in Switzerland and Britain, 1815-1835 (2000), for which he was awarded a Cambridge PhD.