Dwight L. Moody in southern Ireland: modern evangelical revivalism, the protestant minority, and the conversion of catholic Ireland

Andrew R. Holmes*, Stuart Mathieson

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Dwight Lyman Moody (1837–1899) established the blueprint for modern evangelical revivalism. He targeted a broad audience and so avoided contentious points of theology and local political issues. The result was that how Moody was interpreted by those who heard him is often more revealing than the content of his addresses. Moody's three evangelistic campaigns in southern Ireland (1874, 1882–1883, 1892) offer a suggestive case study of how his brand of modern revivalism was accepted and challenged in a particular context. His first tour was significant because it was the first time he had worked in a location with a Catholic majority; his second and third missions took place against a background of political unrest associated with the growing demand for Irish “Home Rule”. This article examines the effect of Moody's brand of modern revivalism on unity amongst southern Ireland's protestant minority. It also investigates the impact of Moody's missions on Catholic Ireland, and the extent to which he was able to transcend religio-political divisions. It demonstrates that Moody promoted evangelical unity yet generated friendly criticism as well as opposition from Protestants, and that the efforts to convert Catholic Ireland that he stimulated provoked a variety of responses that ranged from tolerance to outright hostility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-294
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Religious History
Volume47
Issue number2
Early online date26 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • ARTICLE
  • ARTICLES

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