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Baptists through the Centuries
A History of a Global People

By David W. Bebbington

Baptists through the Centuries
Paperback, 327 pages $39.95
Published: 1st July 2010
ISBN: 9781602582040
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All History, Church History, Contemporary Theology, Historical Theology, Mission/Evangelism, Worship and Ritual

A clearly written introduction to the history and theology of this international people, Baptists through the Centuries provides a chronological survey of the main developments in Baptist life and thought from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. As Baptists spread globally beyond their British and American origins, Bebbington persuasively demonstrates how they constantly adapted to the cultures and societies in which they lived, generating even more diversity within an already multifaceted identity. In the course of telling the story of Baptists, Bebbington also examines the challenging social, political, and intellectual issues in Baptist history—attitudes on race, women’s roles in the church, religious liberty, foreign missions, and denominational identity—and situates each one within a broader context.


Available Now to Professors who Adopt this Text:

Please visit our Bebbington Resources page for complimentary access to professor resources like sample syllabi, PowerPoint slides, quizzes, glossaries, and more

  1. Introduction
  2. Roots in the Reformation
  3. Anabaptists and Baptists
  4. Particular and General Baptists in the Seventeenth Century
  5. Baptists and Revival in the Eighteenth Century
  6. Divisions among Baptists in the Nineteenth Century
  7. Theological Polarization among Baptists
  8. Baptists and the Social Gospel
  9. Gospel and Race among Baptists
  10. Women in Baptist Life
  11. Church, Ministry and Sacraments among Baptists
  12. Baptists and Religious Liberty
  13. Baptists and Foreign Mission
  14. The Global Spread of the Baptists
  15. Baptist Identity
  16. Conclusion

"One of the Baptist tradition's finest writing historians has given us here an engaging overview of the Baptist movement from the Reformation to the present day. A work of mature research, this book tells the Baptist story in a way that makes it accessible to scholars and beginning students alike." 

—Timothy George, founding Dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University, and General Editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture

"Bebbington is a wise guide... This judicious and insightful account of Baptist history is to be commended."

—John Briggs, President of the Baptist Historical Society, Baptist Quarterly (2013, 45)

"David Bebbington's well-earned reputation as a brilliant historian is certainly confirmed with this fine overview of Baptist history and practices. Bebbington's work will provide students with a timely, balanced, and insightful guide for generations to come."

—David S. Dockery, President, Union University

"Conversations about Baptist identity too often generate more heat than light. This book is a happy exception, telling the Baptist story with great insight and clarity."

—Curtis W. Freeman, Research Professor of Theology and Baptist Studies, Duke University Divinity School

"... a welcomed addition to the field of Baptist studies."

—Baptist History & Heritage Society (Fall 2012)

"David Bebbington has placed us all in his debt by producing this volume."

Journal of European Baptist Studies (2012, 12:2)

"In Baptists through the Centuries, the distinguished University of Stirling (UK) professor further solidifies his already established reputation for careful scholarship, astute interpretation, and compelling storylines.... Bebbington offers the necessary resources for understanding the tradition's comlex historical roots, as well as the meandering pathways that have characterized denomination life for 400 years."

Renewing Minds (2012, 1:1)

“Bebbington’s careful work and attempt to categorize and define the diverse family called Baptists is laudable and worthy of commendation.”

—Jason. G. Duesing, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Journal of Ecclesiastical History (62:4)

"Bebbington, one of the leading historians of worldwide evangelicalism, presents a sweeping overview of Baptist history in Europe and the US from its beginnings in the Reformation to the present. A synthesis of the original research of others, Bebbington's interpretive scheme is nuanced and quite readable."

—J. F. Findlay, University of Rhode Island, Choice (2011, 48:8)

"... the scope of [Bebbington's] coverage in just 300 pages is breathtaking. If you read only one book on the Baptists, this is the one for you."

—Richard V. Pierard, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Oct. 2011

David W. Bebbington is Professor of History at the University of Stirling. His previous books include The Mind of Gladstone: Religion, Homer and Politics and The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody. He lives in Scotland.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 327 pages
 9in x 6in

  REL015000, REL073000
 Baylor University Press

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