Origins of the Salvation Army
Murdoch, Norman H.
Cloth Edition, $32.00s
Cloth ISBN: 0-87049-858-4
Status: Out of Print
Paper Edition, $16.00s
Paper ISBN: 0-87049-955-6
Status: In Print
Description"A fascinating and thoroughly documented social history. . . . Recent political and religious developments in the U.S. make this case study of the transformation of an urban revivalist mission into a movement that is also explicitly social and political particularly timely."—Booklist
"An indispensable addition to any library with a collection in religious history."—Choice
In this deeply researched study of one world's best known and best regarded religious and charitable movements, Norman Murdoch offers provocative new insights into the Salvation Army's origins and its growth into an international organization—a veritable "Christian imperium."
Murdoch follows the lives and work of the Army's founders, William and Catherine Booth, from their beginnings as Wesleyan evangelists in 1850s Britain to their inauguration of a Utopian social plan in 1890. Quickly adapting to the failures of their early missions, the Booths eventually created a military-style organization that spread beyond Britain's boundaries to become as far-flung as Victoria's empire. As the Army's expanionism began to collapse, however, the Booths added "wholesale" social salvation to their emphasis on the salvation of individual souls.
Challenging various notions popularized in the denomination's official histories, this book is of special interest to historians of nineteenth-century social reform, evangelical Protestantism, and the relationship between class and religion in the Anglo-American world.
The Author: Norman H. Murdoch is professor of history at the University of Cincinnati.