This book is an enlarged version of the author's Hulsean Lectures in the University of Cambridge for 1983-4. It considers the main movements in the theology of baptism, both that of infants and believers, in Great Britain from the Evangelical Revival to the publication of the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission's consensus statement on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry of 1982. Thus as well as the shifts in the Church of England from evangelical to tractarian, 'broad church' to liberal catholic, there is a survey of the views of Methodists, Baptists and Congregationalists, with reflections from the scene in Scotland and Ireland, during the same period. It offers a survey of popular belief and practice about
baptism from the eighteenth century to the present, because of the author's conviction that theological movements have to be seen in their historical context. In the case of baptism, in particular, a consistent
difference has persisted between popular perceptions and the Churches' expectations, which poses significant challenges to the understanding of the Churches' mission in contemporary society.