Origins of the Salvation Army

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9780870498589: Origins of the Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is today one of the world's best-known and best-regarded religious and charitable movements. In this deeply researched study, Norman Murdoch offers some surprising new insights into the denomination's origins and its growth into an international organization. Murdoch follows the lives and work of the Army's founders, William and Catherine Booth, from their beginnings as Wesleyan evangelists in the 1850s to their inauguration of a Utopian social plan in 1890. In particular, Murdoch identifies quick accommodation to failure as a persistent theme in the Army's early history. When the Booth's East End mission faltered in the mid-1870s, Booth took his preaching to the provincial towns. The failure of that ministry led him in 1878 to reorganize his efforts along then-popular military lines, and the Salvation Army was born. With women as its "shock troops" this Christian imperium would spread beyond Britain's boundaries to become as international in scope as Victoria's empire. Challenging various notions popularized in the denomination's official histories, this book will be of special interest to historians of nineteenth-century social reform, scholars of evangelical Protestantism, and readers interested in the relationship between class and religion in the Anglo-American world.

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About the Author:

Norman H. Murdoch is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Cincinnati.

From Booklist:

In a fascinating and thoroughly documented social history of the origins of the Salvation Army, Murdoch focuses on the founders, William and Catherine Booth, and their remarkable ability to speak both the religious and social languages of the Victorian Age. He traces their work from revivalist roots imported to Britain by American evangelists in the middle of the nineteenth century, whose purpose was to aid the urban poor. Murdoch's is a critical history, an appreciative account of the Booths' contributions that is also a painstakingly clear description of the failure to convert the urban masses to the Wesleyan gospel of nineteenth-century revivalism. The book is relevant not only to those with specific interest in Salvation Army history, but also to those with more general interests in the social history of Victorian England, the interrelationship of religious and social movements in the Anglo-American world of the nineteenth century, the interrelationship of Christian evangelicalism and Anglo-American imperialism, and the relationship between theological and social dimensions of religious organizations. Recent political and religious developments in the U.S. make this case study of the transformation of an urban revivalist mission into a movement that is also explicitly social and political particularly timely. Steve Schroeder

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Murdoch, Norman H.
Published by Univ of Tennessee Pr (1994)
ISBN 10: 0870498584 ISBN 13: 9780870498589
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Book Description Univ of Tennessee Pr, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110870498584

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Murdoch, Norman H.
Published by Univ of Tennessee Pr
ISBN 10: 0870498584 ISBN 13: 9780870498589
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