Songs of Praises: William Williams Pantycelyn and the Welsh Revival
The research on William Williams, Pantycelyn seeks to integrate his life and his work within the context of the Welsh Reformation and on the wider Protestant world. While it is not original research, per se, it is original in the sense that this research seeks to shine a light on William Williams, Pantycelyn from a viewpoint within twenty-first century United States. The research first seeks to understand the cultural and religious landscape of eighteenth century Wales before looking at Williams’s life and particularly his most famous work Arglwydd, arwain trwy’r anialwch (in English, Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah/Redeemer)
For Further Reading
a. Flame in the Mountains: Williams Pantycelyn, Ann Griffiths and the Welsh Hymn by H. A. Hodges, edited by E. Wyn James.
b. Williams Pantycelyn by Glyn Tegai Hughes.
c. The Calvinistic Methodist Fathers of Wales by John Morgan Jones and William Morgan.
d. Sweet Singers of Wales by H. Elvet Lewis.e. “The Printed Works of William Williams, Pantycelyn” on the National Library of Wales website.
How can we study belief? What are the longer term implications of religious change in society? These connected questions form the core of our course and our investigation of Early Modern Europe (c. 1450-1789). Indeed, the meaning of belief was the central issue of contention in Europe from the dawn of the Renaissance until the twilight of the eighteenth century and its Revolutions.
The shattering of the Christian consensus and the rise of the empirical frame was a pathway cleared with the twin swords of Humanism’s cry of ad fontes and Luther’s injunction of sola fide. The route uncovered was a journey to the “Modern” in all its beauty and ugliness. Yet, stones lay upon this trail, rocky reminders whose pain and obstacle convey the irony that Europe’s greatest religious revolution resulted in the ultimate secularization of the continent and of the West in general. Still, secularization, caught as it is in a dialectic with Christianity, is a form of belief, and belief remains central.
The effort to experience, define, and understand both acceptable and unacceptable beliefs will be our compass to map Europe’s Early Modern world, the world of unfolding Reformations. This course will consist of primary and secondary readings, lecture, classroom discussion, as well as multiple student writing assignments culminating in a final research based student podcast.
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