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Title: The significance of the supernatural in the American Methodist circuit-rider ministry (c.1770s-1830s)
Author: Xhemajli, Adhurim
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 8110
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2019
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This study is the first to investigate the role and impact of the supernatural in the ministry of the early American Methodist preachers (c. 1770s-1830s). These preachers were known as circuit-riders and were appointed to evangelize the American frontier by presenting an experiential gospel: one that featured various supernatural phenomena that purportedly originated from God's Spirit. In employing this evangelistic strategy of the gospel message fueled by supernatural displays, Methodism rapidly expanded; despite beginning with only ten official circuit-riders in the early 1770s, by the early 1830s, circuit-riders had multiplied and caused Methodism to become the largest American denomination of its day. In investigating the significance of the supernatural in the circuit-rider ministry, this fresh study systematically constructs the theology of the supernatural according to the circuit-riders by discerning specific patterns in their use of the term. Further, the nature and reported impact of specific supernatural phenomena on both the individual circuit-rider and his audience is addressed. Finally, this investigation offers a new historical perspective through its demonstration of the correlation between the supernatural and the explosive membership growth of early American Methodism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BR Christianity ; BV Practical Theology ; E11 America (General) ; HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform