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The Dissenters Volume IIIThe Crisis and Conscience of Nonconformity$
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Michael R. Watts

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198229698

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198229698.001.0001

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Making ‘men moral by act of parliament’

Making ‘men moral by act of parliament’

Personal Redemption Versus Environmental Reformation

(p.289) 6 Making ‘men moral by act of parliament’
The Dissenters Volume III

Michael R. Watts

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on debates over personal redemption vs environmental reformation in the late nineteenth century. Traditional Evangelicals believe that the root of an individual's problems, and hence of society's troubles, lay in sin against God, and the solution to those problems lay in the repentance of sin and surrender to the will of God. Others believe that the fundamental cause of many individual and social problems lay not so much with personal failings but with the environmental conditions that often rendered the individual powerless. The solution to these problems was not in personal redemption, but rather reformation by local authorities or by the state.

Keywords:   Evangelicals, individual conversion, personal morality, environment

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