Eighteenth-century Newfoundland methodism as a revitalization movement

Robinson, Mary Angela (1996) Eighteenth-century Newfoundland methodism as a revitalization movement. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Because of the prevailing political and economic conditions, the internal problems inherited from Laurence Coughlan's ministry (1766-1773), and the inability of Methodist leaders to tend to the Conception Bay societies properly, the development of early Newfoundland Methodism proved to be rife with complications. Coughlan's departure from Newfoundland in 1773 left his followers under the care of his lay preachers, whose attempts to keep the societies intact were effective in the short term, but a steady decline in the membership was evidenced over time. The first official mission to Newfoundland (1785-1791), conducted by John McGeary, had its problems as well. McGeary's mission met with resistance from the Anglican church, and was further disadvantaged by personal and professional problems incurred by McGeary himself. As a result the progress of Methodism in Conception Bay in the late eighteenth-century was a formidable challenge for those who attempted to maintain and oversee it Anthony F. C. Wallace's Revitalization theory offers a useful methodology that enables one to study this period and how early Newfoundland Methodism was prone to decline and almost certain collapse. Wallace's model outlines a series of phases (processual structure) which determine how religious movements are initiated, developed and stabilized. According to Wallace, religious reform must complete the primary stages of mazeway reformulation, communication, organization and adaptation before success can be realized. The following study applies Wallace's theory to the events and circumstances of early Newfoundland Methodism, and in doing so identifies several recurrent problems within the movement which help to explain the volatile nature of its early development.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/771
Item ID: 771
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [132]-138.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: 1996
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Conception Bay
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Methodist Church--Newfoundland and Labrador--History

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