leadership for more traditional Lutheran revival in both Germany and Scandinavia after 1840.38
One key question is what level of religious practice might be assumed to be normal, and how far this changed in the course of the nineteenth century. Clearly this depends on local or regional factors as much as on any national tradition. There were countries with one dominant church, where high levels of attachment were combined with low levels of practice. This was as true for Scandinavian Protestant churches like those in Denmark and Sweden as it was for southern European Catholic churches such as those in Portugal or Italy. France, Holland, Germany and Great Britain provided a rather different picture, with subtly different variations: in Great Britain the established churches of England and Scotland were increasingly challenged by varieties of Protestant Nonconformity, particularly in the period up to 1875; in Holland and Germany there was a balance between Reformed or Lutheran churches and the Roman Catholic Church, which varied from state to state; whereas in France the dominant position of the Roman Catholic Church increasingly had to contend with anticlericalism, which tended to prevail in government after 1875.
This is the context in which revivalism should be understood. The original revivalist movements of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries clearly arose from within the existing churches. Indeed the use of the term revival represented the conviction of the original pioneers that the aim was to revive the faith of those who for various reasons were not living up to expectations. This was as true of German pietism as it was of Jonathan Edwards's American Congregationalism; it was also true initially of John Wesley's Methodism in the Church of England. However, from an early stage there were also those who were sufficiently critical of the existing churches that they set up alternative structures, for example the Moravian Brotherhood under Count Zinzendorf. What was increasingly discovered, even by Wesley's Methodists, was that there were certain areas where people were hearing the gospel for the first time. Almost inevitably, though gradually, this led to the gathering of such people into separate churches. Thus the followers of Wesley and Whitefield were effectively separated from the Church of England before the nineteenth century began; and the stimulus that Methodist revivalism gave to Congregationalists and Baptists led to rapid Nonconformist growth in the early nineteenth century.
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