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Australian Methodist Religious Experience

O'Brien, Glen (2015) Australian Methodist Religious Experience. In: Methodism in Australia: A History. Ashgate, fa, pp. 167-180,. ISBN 978-1472429483

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Abstract

Australian Methodist religious experience has its roots in German Pietism, English Puritanism, the Anglican ‘holy living’ tradition, and the manner in which those tributary streams converged in the eighteenth-century evangelical awakening. John Wesley’s own experience became a kind of template of Methodist religious experience. Religious revivals were eagerly reported in Methodist newspapers and throughout the nineteenth-century Methodist world ‘there was a perennial call for revival, revival, and still more revival’. Australian Methodists were no exception. A commitment to social welfare and social reform had some impact on the lessening of enthusiasm for revivals, but it was the salvation of individual souls which remained central to Methodism’s task. Methodists were as much concerned for and active in social reform as other Protestants of the period, but they clung perhaps more resolutely than any others to the insistence that it was an explicitly Christian reform that was required, spearheaded by personal conversion, understood as the only valid catalyst for social change. In the twentieth century the model of conversion shifted from crisis to process as more and more people simply ‘grew up Methodist’ rather than experiencing a dramatic conversion as had been the case in the earlier period. The average Australian Methodist churchgoer of the twentieth century settled for a life of moral and civic uprightness, and the more activist Methodist was drawn to social engagement rather than the kind of intense personal devotion that had characterised Methodism’s earlier period.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Repository Version: Metadata Only
Keywords (separated by commas): History of Methodism, History of Australian Methodism, Australian religious history, Religious experience
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950406 Religious Traditions (excl. Structures and Rituals)
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subject Area(s): C - Church History
Association with University of Divinity: SABC: Salvation Army Booth College
Depositing User: Rev Associate Professor Glen O'Brien
Date Deposited: 11 May 2016 13:02
Last Modified: 11 May 2016 13:02
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1957

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