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Appears in Collections:History and Politics eTheses
Title: Reinventing Redemption: The Methodist Doctrine of Atonement in Britain and America in the Long Nineteenth Century
Author(s): Tooley, W. Andrew
Supervisor(s): Bebbington, David William
Keywords: Religion, Philosophy, Theology, Atonement, Evangelicalism, Methodism, England, America, Romanticism, Enlightenment, Modernism,
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis examines the controversy surrounding the doctrine of atonement among transatlantic Methodist during the Victorian and Progressive Eras. Beginning in the eighteenth century, it establishes the dominant theories of the atonement present among English and American Methodists and the cultural-philosophical worldview Methodists used to support these theories. It then explores the extent to which ordinary and influential Methodists throughout the nineteenth century carried forward traditional opinions on the doctrine before examining in closer detail the controversies surrounding the doctrine at the opening of the twentieth century. It finds that from the 1750s to the 1830s transatlantic Methodists supported a range of substitutionary views of the atonement, from the satisfaction and Christus Victor theories to a vicarious atonement with penal emphases. Beginning in the 1830s and continuing through the 1870s, transatlantic Methodists embraced features of the moral government theory, with varying degrees, while retaining an emphasis on traditional substitutionary theories. Methodists during this period were indebted to an Enlightenment worldview. Between 1880 and 1914 transatlantic Methodists gradually accepted a Romantic philosophical outlook with the result that they began altering their conceptions of the atonement. Methodists during this period tended to move in three directions. Progressive Methodists jettisoned prevailing views of the atonement preferring to embrace the moral influence theory. Mediating Methodists challenged traditionally constructed theories for similar reasons but tended to support a theory in which God was viewed as a friendlier deity while retaining substitutionary conceptions of the atonement. Conservatives took a custodial approach whereby traditional conceptions of the atonement were vehemently defended. Furthermore, that transatlantic Methodists were involved in significant discussions surrounding the revision of their theology of atonement in light of modernism in the years surrounding 1900 contributed to their remaining on the periphery of the Fundamentalist-Modernist in subsequent decades.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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