Methodism: Empire of the Spirit
The emergence of Methodism was arguably the most significanttransformation of Protestant Christianity since the Reformation.This book explores the rise of Methodism from its unpromisingorigins as a religious society within the Church of England in the1730s to a major international religious movement by the 1880s.During that period Methodism refashioned the old denominationalorder in the British Isles, became the largest religiousdenomination in the United States, and gave rise to the mostdynamic world missionary movement of the nineteenth century. By theend of the nineteenth century, Methodism had circled the globe andwas poised to become one of the fastest-growing religioustraditions in the modern world.David Hempton, a preeminent authority on the history ofMethodism, digs beneath the hard surface of institutional expansionto get to the heart of the movement as a dynamic and living faithtradition. Methodism was a movement of discipline and sobriety, butalso of ecstasy and enthusiasm. A noisy, restless, and emotionaltradition, Methodism fundamentally reshaped British and Americanculture in the age of industrialization, democratization, and therise of empire.