Under the influence of the evangelical movement in the 18th and early 19th centuries education, in one form or another, was brought to a vast number of people in England and Wales. Originally published in 1969, it is this phenomenon that forms the subject of Dr McLeish’s book.
The two central figures are Griffith Jones and Hannah More and the movements are seen almost entirely through their work. Dr McLeish examines the nature and aims of the schools which were established; their economics and organisation; their progress and achievement; the social background in which they flourished.
In the second part of his book Dr McLeish attempts a bold synthesis. He analyses these data in light of four essentially modern social theories – Marxist dialectics, the functionalist anthropology of Malinowski, Freudian psychoanalysis, and the sociology of Talcott Parsons. The author does not pretend to provide all the answers. What he suggests is a way of looking at history that is open-minded and eclectic and vitalizing in the perspectives which it offers.
Preface. Part 1: The Historical Background 1. Evangelism and Mass Literacy in Wales 2. The Welsh Circulating Schools 3. Evangelism and Mass Literacy in England Part 2: The Evangelicals in the Light of Social Thought 4. The Economic Interpretation 5. The Anthropological Interpretation 6. The Psychological Interpretation 7. The Sociological Interpretation 8. Conclusions. Glossary. References. Bibliography. Name Index.
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