Robert Edmund CotterAug 29, 2022
John Cennick (1718-1755)
Methodism, Moravianism and the Rise of Evangelicalism
Robert Edmund Cotter's book John Cennick (1718-1755): Methodism, Moravianism and the Rise of Evangelicalism (Routledge, 2022) explores the life and spirituality of John Cennick (1718-1755) and argues for a new appreciation of the contradictions and complexities in early evangelicalism. It explores Cennick's evangelistic work in Ireland, his relationship with Count Zinzendorf and the creative tension between the Moravian and Methodist elements of his participation in the eighteenth-century revivals. The chapters draw on extensive unpublished correspondence between Cennick and Zinzendorf, as well as Cennick's unique diary of his first stay in the continental Moravian centres of Marienborn, Herrnhaag and Lindheim. A maverick personality, John Cennick is seen at the centre of some of the principal controversies of the time. The trajectory of his emergence as a prominent figure in the revivals is remarkable in its intensity and hybridity and brings into focus a number of themes in the landscape of early evangelicalism: the eclectic nature of its inspirations, the religious enthusiasm nurtured in Anglican societies, the expansion of the pool of preaching talent, the social tensions unleashed by religious innovations, and the particular nature of the Moravian contribution during the 1740s and 1750s. Offering a major re-evaluation of Cennick's spirituality, the book will be of interest to scholars of evangelical and church history.
Crawford Gribben is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast.