The Wesleyan Movement in the Industrial Revolution

The Wesleyan Movement in the Industrial Revolution

The Wesleyan Movement in the Industrial Revolution

The Wesleyan Movement in the Industrial Revolution

Excerpt

The direct social effects of the churches have become more difficult to trace than formerly. The rôle of religion, as an organized discipline, has dwindled, as the social functions it once performed have been secularized. Students of sociology and social history, however, have described the striking contributions of earlier religious groups in laying the foundations of industrial society. Max Weber Religionssoziologie (shortly to be had in English translation) has continued to be a seminal study, and Mr Tawney's essay has more recently brought into focus the fascinating process of religion working on the English culture of the seventeenth century to produce the economic mentality.

The present volume is an attempt to observe a similar process in a later but well-defined period. Any inquiry into social psychology is, of course, an elusive project. In the present instance it seemed best to make a study of the bearing of the Wesleyan movement upon the creation of a social mentality, in the form of a detailed analysis with contemporary documentation. That method has, therefore, been followed.

The invariable courtesy and tireless co-operation of the staff of the British Museum Reading Room is, of course, a tradition, but one which cannot fail to arouse in the researcher a fresh appreciation. The officers of Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, U.S.A., also made the excellent Wesleyan material in its library available. Its large and valuable group of as yet unclassified eighteenth and early nineteenth-century pamphlets, originally collected . . .

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