Calvinistic Methodism and the Reformed Tradition in Eighteenth-Century Wales

Type Chapter
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChristianities in the Early Modern Celtic World
EditorsTadhg Ó hAnnracháin, R. Armstrong
Place of PublicationHoundmills
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781137306357
ISBN (Print)9781349455096
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2014
Permanent link
View graph of relations
Citation formats


In a book of Welsh language essays, the literary critic Bobi Jones has written that Augustinian and Calvinist theological ideas provided the main highway for Welsh thought from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries and possibly even much of the twentieth century as well.1 Allowing for a measure of hyperbole in this assertion, explained to some degree perhaps by Bobi Jones’s own neo-Calvinist perspective,2 the teachings of John Calvin, and Reformation thought and values more generally, have played a formative role, not only in the religious development of early modern Wales but also on many aspects of its intellectual, political and cultural life. It was an influence mediated at first through a select band of sixteenth-century Protestants, a similarly small and elitist Puritan movement in the seventeenth century, the much more populist evangelical revival which had its origins in the middle decades of the eighteenth century, and a nonconformity that, by the mid-nineteenth century, held a dominant influence over much of mainstream Welsh society.