Gwerthfawrogiad arloesol sy'n taflu goleuni newydd ar fywyd a meddwl cymhleth a chythryblus Howell Harris (1714-73), wedi ei seilio ar draethawd doethuriaeth pan gwblhawyd astudiaeth drylwyr o ddyddiaduron niferus y diwygiwr Methodistaidd, ynghyd â nodiadau manwl a chynhwysfawr. 1 allbrint o dudalen o ddyddiadur ac 1 map. Cyhoeddwyd gyntaf yn 2000.
A pioneering and enlightening appraisal of the complex and troublesome life and mind of Howell Harris (1714-73), based on a D. Phil thesis in preparation for which a thorough study of the diaries of the Methodist reformer was undertaken, together with detailed comprehensive notes. 1 reprint of a diary page and 1 map. First published in 2000.
Geraint Tudurs biography of Howell Harris demonstrates that the tendency of the Evangelical Revival to view itself through its great men is, in fact, a useful narrative tool. The present volume not only charts a critical time in Howell Harriss spiritual life and career, but its chronological parameters encompass what was also a crucial time in the history of Welsh Calvinistic Methodism. The first wave of Methodism dates roughly from Harriss conversion in 1735 to his retreat to Trefeca after the infamous separation that was complete by 1752. The next, much anticipated, volume will chart the history of Harriss Trevecka Family and his reintegration into the Methodist fold during the 1760s until his early death in 1770, due to physical and mental exhaustion.
As one of the foremost leaders of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, it is not surprising that Harriss life and spirituality should be so inextricably bound up with the movement that he arguably initiated and undoubtedly fostered. In respect of this, Geraint Tudur deftly supplies a concise background, delineating the fluid, yet often uneasy, relationship between the Methodists, the Church of England and the Dissenters in Wales. The wider context of the Evangelical Revival is also alluded to in the attention Geraint Tudur pays to Harriss relationship with George Whitefield and his dealings with the Wesley brothers, as well as the Moravian Church.
The importance to Harris of both the Anglican spiritual inheritance and the Methodist cause alike is stressed and revealed in Harriss sometimes strained relationship with the Methodist sympathiser Griffith Jones, Llanddowror. It seems that Harris owed many of his initial contacts to him. Furthermore, Harriss own career, and that of the Welsh Methodists, could have been markedly different had he heeded Griffith Joness kindly advice to lean on the Word of God rather than on his on own experiences!
Geraint Tudur provides firm interpretations of Harriss theological position (or lack thereof) and the nature of his scandalous relationship with Madam Sidney Griffith, as well as the role it played in the rift of 1752. However, the author never overshadows his subject and, by quoting liberally from the copious diaries on which this study is based, he allows Howell Harriss voice to be heard. This means that the reader gets an unprecedented taste of the diaries that are such a telling mirror of Harriss rigorous spiritual and devotional daily routine. This was a routine which sometimes bordered on the eccentric as, for example, when Harris sought divine validation for tasks both great and small, even the seemingly trivial issue of whether or not new underwear should be purchased for his longsuffering wife, Ann!
Through these choice excerpts and the authors own interpretation a rounded picture of Harris the saint and Harris the man unfolds: his volatile egotism, his arrogance and insecurities and, of course, his untiring zeal and sincere faith. This volume is clearly and concisely written and, in spite of the mercurial figure at its centre and the abstruse theological issues at work, it is not without its lighter touches and will satisfy both lay reader and researcher.
Cathryn A Charnell-White
It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.
Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
In Howell Harris: From Conversion to Separation 1735-1750, Geraint Tudur
provides the first modern appraisal of the eminent Welsh Methodist leader and revivalist,
Howell Harris. During the mid-eighteenth century, an evangelical religious revival spread
through many parts of Britain, the Continent and North America. John and Charles Wesley
and George Whitefield are the best known of the spiritual leaders of this revival, but it
was Howell Harris who could lay claim to being the first of these to be called to the work
as he embarked on his lay ministry during the summer of 1735. Despite opposition to his
'enthusiasm' he met with considerable success and his work laid the foundations of what
was later known as the Welsh Methodist movement.
This comprehensive and compelling study charts Howell Harris's influence on the
development of early Methodism and examines the period from his conversion in 1735 to his
seccession from the main body of Methodist following a long and acrimonious struggle with
Daniel Rowland. It also discusses in detail the public scandal of Harris's relationship
with the self-proclaimed prophetess, Madam Sidney Griffith. This book is based on the
voluminous diaries of Howell Harris, most of which were written in barely legible
handwriting; through judicious use of these and other sources Geraint Tudur provides us
with a revealing picture of the life and thought of this important Methodist leader
against the backdrop of his era. Howell Harris: From Conversion to Separation 1735-1750
is a landmark in our understanding of the eighteenth-century Methodist Revival.
Geraint Tudur is lecturer in Church History at the School of Theology and
Religious Studies at the University of Wales, Bangor. He is also director of the Centre
for the Advanced Study of Religion in Wales.