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Title: Proselytisation and apocalypticism in the British Atlantic world : the theology of John Flavel
Author: Parker, Nathan Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 0641
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the theology of the prominent Puritan minister John Flavel (1627-91). In addition to investigating his methods of proselytising and his beliefs about the apocalypse it argues that his evangelistic approach had a significant transatlantic impact in the eighteenth century. Chapter one argues that Flavel’s approach to proselytising can be understood as an interplay between three grids. First, he argued that there were two realisations at which his hearers must arrive in order to be converted. Second, he argued that, from the vantage point of the preacher, there were three faculties within the human soul where he must direct his evangelistic efforts. Third, Flavel maintained that there were (roughly) ten theological events which must transpire within the soul for a person to experience conversion. Whilst the subject was conscious of some of these states, others were imperceptible. Chapter two demonstrates that Flavel posited two distinct levels upon which these theological states operated: common and saving. Chapter three explores the practical ways in which Flavel led people to experience Christian salvation. Chapter four contends that Flavel’s beliefs about the return of Christ changed over time. In the early part of his ministry, he did not speak of the return of Christ as being imminent, but by 1689 he was convinced that it was at hand. This had implications for his evangelism. Chapter five argues that Flavel’s approach to proselytising had a significant impact on individuals in the eighteenth century, especially around the time of the Great Awakening. This case is constructed through the presentation of several pieces of evidence: numerous people who were converted through reading his sermons, an evaluation of Flavel in print, and marginalia located in copies of his books printed between 1664 and 1799.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available