Evangelicalism contributed to the great transformation of ideas in the modern world. This 2006 book represents a pioneering study of discussions within the evangelical movements from Central Europe to the American colonies about what constituted evangelical identity and of the basis of the fraternity among evangelical leaders of strikingly different backgrounds. Through a global study of the major figures and movements in the early evangelical world, W. R. Ward aims to show that down through the eighteenth century the evangelical elite had coherent answers to the general intellectual problems of their day and that piety as well as the enlightenment was a significant motor of intellectual change. However, as the century wore on the evangelicals lost the ability to state a broad intellectual setting for their case, and when they entered on their period of greatest social influence in the nineteenth century their former cohesion disintegrated into acute partisan wrangling.
Review of the hardback: 'This study opens up to British readers a more comprehensive understanding of Evangelical origins than hitherto embraced by the historiography.' Baptist Quarterly
'As always, Ward proves himself a master of the archive and the text. His encyclopaedic knowledge of the huge and diverse community of theologians, church leaders, and their writings is matched by the illuminating perspicuity he brings to their words ... Ward has produced a remarkable analysis of an intellectual system shared by German Pietists, British Methodists, and New England Congregationalists, among others.' The Journal of Church History
'This fascinating volume ... "pioneering study".' The Historical Journal
"In his path-breaking book Early Evangelicalism: A Global Intellectual History, 1670-1789, Ward offers a bold new geneolopgy of evangelicalism that transforms our understanding of its intellectual roots...it is one of the most ambitious books about evangelicalism ever written."
Catherine A. Brekus, Books and Culture
"Ward's comand of primary sources is impressive...the scholarship is admirable...Early Evangelicalism is a valuable resource."
Religious Studies Review
"This fascinating volume ... 'pioneering study'."
The Historical Journal