Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Whitworth theology professor publishes two-volume work on Christian revival


After seven years of research, textual analysis and writing, Whitworth Professor of Theology Keith Beebe’s two-volume book, The McCulloch Examinations of the Cambuslang Revival (1742): Conversion Narratives from the Scottish Evangelical Awakening - A Critical Edition, has been published jointly by the Scottish History Society and Boydell & Brewer Publishers.

Beebe’s book examines the McCulloch Manuscripts, a significant collection of primary-source documentation of the religious revival in 18th-century Scotland. In addition to the 109 firsthand accounts recorded by the Rev. William McCulloch, the collection includes editorial revisions and commentary made by four of McCulloch’s colleagues.

After traveling to Edinburgh to examine the original 1,300-page manuscript and to review the editorial comments and revisions, Beebe says he was convinced that this would be a great project to work on. “The questions I really wanted to investigate included ‘What material did the editors want to cut or revise? And what were their reasons for doing so?” Beebe says.

The two-volume project required an enormous amount of textual analysis, historical investigation, and technical precision, Beebe says. The book is primarily for two audiences: scholars from a variety of academic disciplines and the general Christian community.

“I think that many of the personal testimonies in this edition will inspire and encourage the reader, and reveal how other people have come to terms with their own spiritual hunger and their need for God,” Beebe says.

In the closing paragraph of the book’s acknowledgements, Beebe dedicates his book to Rev.William McCulloch:  “I owe a debt of thanks to a person I have never met, but whose vision, wisdom and tireless efforts have made this project possible and greatly enriched my life.”

Beebe is also currently preparing to deliver a paper, "George Whitefield in Scotland: Of Friends, Foes and the Evangelical Divide." His paper proposal was recently accepted for delivery at the “George Whitefield at 300” International Conference, which will take place in June 2014 at Pembroke College at Oxford University.

Beebe joined the Whitworth faculty in 1997 after receiving his master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in church history from the School of Arts & Divinity at King’s College, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.