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.

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