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Earlier today I caught up with my colleague at Queen’s University Belfast, Andrew R. Holmes, to discuss his outstanding new book, The Irish Presbyterian Mind: Conservative Theology, Evangelical Experience, and Modern Criticism, 1830-1930 (Oxford UP, 2018). Andrew has been working on the history of Irish Presbyterianism for the last fifteen years or so, and along the way has produced some of the most exciting work on the history of evangelicalism in Britain and Ireland. His distinctive vantage point allows Andrew to make compelling and original arguments about culture, community and criticism in the long nineteenth century. In his latest book, Andrew surveys the period in which Irish Presbyterians came together as a community, to debate different ways of being conservative, and to deal with tensions that arose between their increasingly conflicting commitments to the Westminster Confession, their statement of faith, and the new emphasis upon experience that was being promoted in trans-Atlantic evangelicalism. It was evangelical ideas that both pulled Irish Presbyterians together and at the end of the century pushed them apart.

Crawford Gribben is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast. His research interests focus on the history of puritanism and evangelicalism, and he is the author most recently of John Owen and English Puritanism (Oxford University Press, 2016).

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