Historians have sometimes argued, and popular discourse certainly assumes, that evangelicalism and fundamentalism are identical. In the twenty-first century, when Islamic fundamentalism is at the centre of the world's attention, whether or not evangelicalism should be seen as the Christian version of fundamentalism is an important matter for public understanding. The essays that make up this book analyse this central question. Drawing on empirical evidence from many
parts of the United Kingdom and from across the course of the twentieth century, the essays show that fundamentalism certainly existed in Britain, that evangelicals did sometimes show tendencies in a fundamentalist direction, but that evangelicalism in Britain cannot simply be equated with
The evangelical movement within Protestantism that arose in the wake of the eighteenth-century revival exerted an immense influence on British society over the two subsequent centuries. Christian fundamentalism, by contrast, had its origins in the United States following the publication of The Fundamentals, a series of pamphlets issued to ministers between 1910 and 1915 that was funded by California oilmen. While there was considerable British participation in writing the series, the
term 'fundamentalist' was invented in an exclusively American context when, in 1920, it was coined to describe the conservative critics of theological liberalism. The fundamentalists in Britain formed only a small section of evangelical opinion that declined over time.
An undergraduate at Jesus College, Cambridge (1968-71), David Bebbington began his doctoral studies there (1971-73) before becoming a research fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (1973-76). Since 1976 he has taught at the University of Stirling, where from 1999 he has been Professor of History. He has also taught at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, at Regent College, Vancouver, at Notre Dame University, Indiana, at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and at Baylor University, Texas. A native of Port Talbot, David Ceri Jones is currently a Lecturer in History at Aberystwyth University. Following doctoral work on the eighteenth century evangelical revival at Aberystwyth, David served as a Research Fellow at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies where he produced an edition of the correspondence of the Welsh Romantic Iolo Morganwg. Since then he has published extensively in the fields of eighteenth century Methodism in Wales and beyond, and in some aspects of contemporary evangelicalism. He is also an Associate Curate in the Church of Wales, serving three parishes in northern Ceredigion.
I: BEFORE FUNDAMENTALISM; II: THE BEGINNINGS OF BRITISH FUNDAMENTALISM; III: THE LATER TWENTIETH CENTURY; IV: NATIONAL VARIATIONS; V: THEOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS