Rapture and Reason Revisited

An update on the Rapture and Reason project that featured in our ‘Curating Correspondence’ seminar last year.

Rylands Blog

Dr Gareth Lloyd writes:

16040782 ‘Monster at Finsbury Fields’, 18th-century satirical print mocking the emotional response to evangelical preaching, by Samuel Wade, engraved by Charles Grignion. Image no. jrl16040782.

In September 2016 the University of Manchester Library digitised and placed online a collection of 153 manuscript testimonies written by people from all backgrounds who had converted during the 18th-century Evangelical Revival (see the Rapture and Reasonwebsite). These narratives, sent to the Methodist leader and hymn-writer Charles Wesley, contain personal stories from a movement that gave birth to leading 21st-century Christian denominations, including Methodism, the Holiness family of Churches and the evangelical wing of the Anglican Communion.

This first phase of the Rapture and Reason project (so-called because of the charismatic nature of evangelical spirituality) promoted and broadened scholarly access to an important cross-disciplinary resource. It also highlighted potential use of the testimonies by contemporary faith groups seeking to explore the…

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