BRETHREN HISTORICAL REVIEW ARTICLES
Unless otherwise stated, the articles below appeared in the Brethren Historical Review (which was known as the Brethren Archivists and Historians Network Review until vol 4. no.1 (2006)). The articles are the copyright of the Brethren Archivists and Historians Network. You are free to cite the articles or make copies for educational use, but please acknowledge them in the usual way by citing the title of the journal and its volume and page number/s (the data is given at the beginning of each article).
Gyosu Albrecht, A Short History of the Brethren Assemblies in Hungary (2008). The first Brethren assemblies developed in Hungary at the beginning of the twentieth century. This unique primary source in English, written by one of their key leaders, traces their origin, development and years under Communist rule.
David Brady, An Interview with Garrison Keillor (2000). The American humorist and novelist explains in this exclusive interview what he owes to his Brethren upbringing and makes some shrewd observations about the movement.
David Brady, Once a Brethren Boy: The Portrait of Brethren in the Writings of Noel Virtue (2009). The New Zealand novelist and autobiographer Noel Virtue has portrayed the Brethren unsympathetically in his writings. David Brady considers how accurate his depictions are.
F. Roy Coad, Dr Daisy Dina Ronco (2009). Dr Ronco was the historian of the Italian Brethren Movement, the Churches of the Brethren (formerly the Free Italian Churches). The English Brethren historian, Roy Coad, outlines her life in this obituary.
F. Roy Coad, Prophetic Developments with Particular Reference to the Early Brethren Movement (1966). This paper, which appeared as Christian Brethren Fellowship Occasional Paper Number 2, sets the eschatological views of the early Brethren in the context of Christian history and concludes with some practical propositions on the nature of prophetic enquiry.
Peter Cousins, Robert Stanes (1841-1932): A Merchant 'Son' of George Müller (2004). Robert Stanes's story contradicts the politically correct version of evangelicals in India. He was a merchant in south India who was associated with the Brethren for a while and who greatly admired George Muller. He gave away much of his wealth in imitation of his hero.
Anne-Louise Critchlow, William Kelly and the Inspiration of Scripture (2010). Kelly was a seminal teacher in the early Brethren. This is the first study of his doctrine of scripture.
Edwin Cross, William Reid (1822-1881): A Biographical Sketch. William Reid was a Presbyterian minister who joined the Brethren in Carlisle and became a Brethren pioneer in Sweden.
Alastair J. Durie, A Glanton Assembly and the Second World War: The Old School House, Edinburgh (2009). An account of the response of the members of one Scottish Exclusive assembly to war which offers an alternative account to the stereotype.
Neil T. R. Dickson, The Authorised Version and the Brethren (2011). The Authorised Version (or King James Version) had a revered place in Brethren life. This article examines its changing valuation, and also its competition from Darby's translation, the RV, RSV and the NIV.
Neil T.R. Dickson, Evangelical Historiography: An Interview with David Bebbington (2005). Prof. D. W. Bebbington has written a classic account of Protestant evangelicalism in Britain. In this exclusive interview he discusses the forces shaping contemporary evangelical historiography, and the challenges it faces.
Neil Dickson, Modern Prophetesses: Women Preachers in the Nineteenth-Century Scottish Brethren (1993) This paper appeared in the Records of the Scottish Church History Society, and it surveys the theology and work of female evangelists in the Brethren in the 1860s and their eventual suppression in the following decade.
Neil T.R. Dickson, 'Shut in with Thee': The Morning Meeting among Scottish Open Brethren, 1840s-1960s (1999). This paper originally appeared in vol. 35 of Studies in Church History. Although the source material is drawn from the Open Brethren in Scotland, much of the paper is applicable to Brethren views of the Lord's supper in other contexts.
Neil T. R. Dickson, The Stone in the Water: Scottish Baptist-Brethren Dialogue, 2004-6 (2012). The Baptist Union of scotland initiated a dialogue with some Open Brethren churches in Scotland with a view to having closer links. This paper, based partly on oral testimony, explores what happened to the process.
Neil T.R. Dickson, 'The History of the Open Brethren in Scotland 1838-1999'. Clicking on this link will take you to an external site which gives this PhD thesis completed at the University of Stirling in 2000. The thesis later appeared in a slightly adapted form as Brethren in Scotland 1838-2000.
Guy Featherstone, 'Holy City': The Brethren community at Kyneton, 1900-1911 (2008). A group of B.W. Newton's followers emigrated to Kyneton, Victoria, and established a religious community (known locally as the 'Holy City'). This paper describes the foundation of the community and its eventual demise when the members set out to re-establish it in Jerusalem.
Tim Grass, Brethren and the Sao Tomé cocoa slavery controversy: The Role of Charles A. Swan (1861-1934) (2007). It is a commonplace of writing on Brethren missionaries that they avoided political involvement, yet when chocolate manufacturers, Cadburys, received reports that the plantations which supplied them were being worked by what amounted to slave labour, the missionary Charles Swan played an important role in investigating the allegations.
Tim Grass, Edwin Cross (2009). Edwin Cross was an important preacher, publisher and writer among Kelly-Lowe Brethren. This obituary outlines his contribution to the Brethren movement.
Tim Grass, Thomas Dowglass (1806-57) - Evangelist (2006). Thomas Dowglass is a neglected figure in Brethren history. A former army officer turned evangelist, he founded a Brethren assembly in Totnes, Devon, but then under the influence of Edward's Irving's ideas, it became an Irvingite congregation. His career shows the interest of early Brethren in charismatic phenomena, but also throws up issues surrounding their soteriology.
Crawford Gribben, Rethinking the Rise of Prophecy Fiction: H.R.K.'s Life in the Future (?1879) (2011). The Left Behind series on novels have been immensely popular in America. A recent discovery sheds new light on the earliest extant example of prophecy fiction. The first two chapters of this fictional treatment of the Rapture are included.
A. N Harris, The Plymouth Brethren: Reminiscences of over Fifty Years Ago (2009). Written in 1911 by the son of one of the original members of the pioneering Brethren assembly in Plymouth, this is an important primary source which gives an account of its early personalities and disputes.
Óli Jacobsen, Daniel J. Danielsen (1871-1916): The Faeroese who Changed History in the Congo (2012). Daniel Danielsen, or 'Dollin', was the first missionary who came from the Faeroe Islands. As a mechanic on a boat on the Congo he took Roger Casement up the river in his enquiry into the King Leopold's atrocities. Danielsen then came back to Britain and began campaigning against the policy of 'cut hands'.
Tórður Jóansson, The Brethren in the Faeroes: Some Contexts for Growth (2010). The Faeroe Isles contain the highest percentage per head of population of Brethren in the world. This paper examines the factors within the islands that allowed for this growth.
Timothy Larsen, 'Living by faith': A Short History of Brethren Practice (1998). 'Living by faith' was adopted by the Brethren founders, such as A.N. Groves, George Muller and J.N Darby. This paper shows how flexibly the principles could be applied, and examines late twentieth-century revisionist approaches to it.
Geir Lie, The Ecclesiology of Gene Edwards (2006). The American preacher, church planter, and writer Gene Edwards is a founder of house churches. This article traces his development and shows the indebtedness of his ecclesiology to the Brethren and to figures such as Watchman Nee.
Peter Lineham, Tongues Must Cease: The Brethren and the Charismatic Movement in New Zealand (1983), which appeared in the Christian Brethren Review, shows how views among the early Brethren to speaking in tongues developed, and how this affected the emergence of speaking tongues among assemblies in New Zealand in the 1960s.
Jason Lim, Assumptions and Evidence: The Case of Philip of Philip Robinson (1830-1886) (2004). This paper on the life of the founder of the Brethren in Singapore explodes some of the myths which have surrounded him and showing how his twin role as merchant and active church member makes him a unique person in the history of the colony.
Norman S. Macdonald, Developments in the Churches of God, 1892-1980 (2015) is an account of the various ways in which the Churches of God (or 'Needed Truth') have changed since their separation from the Open Brethren in 1892.
Ian McDowell, Rice Thomas Hopkins 1842-1916: An Open Brother (1997). R.T. Hopkins is a neglected figure among Brethren revivalists, perhaps because of his association with the Churches of God schism and 'Hopkins Brethren' in Australia. But this paper argues he was essentially 'open' in his Brethrenism.
John Montgomerie, My Odyssey: A Conscientious Objector in the First World War (2014). John Mongomerie was a leader in the 'Vernalite' section of the Churches of God. This is an extract from his MS account of his trial and imprisonment as a conscientous objector to fighting.
Dave Napier, The Search for Anthony Norris Groves (2008). Anthony Norris Groves was highly influential in the foundation of the Brethren movement and was the first Brethren missionary, but where is his tomb? This paper solves the mystery.
Terry Norman, Sicrwydd Cadwedigaeth Ammanford: A Gospel Hall in a Welsh Mining Community (2007). From South Wales to New Zealand and back, this paper traces the remarkable social and spiritual journey of William Herbert (1859-1937) and his involvement in the Welsh Revival of 1904, placing him and the assembly he founded in their social and historical context.
John Owen, Edward Kennaway Groves (1836-1917): A Brief Biography (2011). The son of Anthony Norris Groves, Edward Groves had a troubled life, both mentally and theologically. This paper, by a medical professional, examines how his mental health affected his life.
Iva Peša, Serving in 'The Beloved Strip': a century of missionary activity in Mwinilunga district, Zambia (2010). A study of how the Brethren mission at Kalene Hill in Zambia has affected not only the religious, but also the social, economic and political aspects of daily life of the local population.
Ian Randall, 'Outside the camp': Brethren Spirituality and Wider Evangelicalism in the 1920s (2000). The 1920s were a time of change for the Open Brethren. Many had made separation from the wider Christian world of central importance, yet by the end of the decade, others were increasingly willing to enter the evangelical mainstream.
David Rawson, Barton Hall, Hereford: A History (2011). The Brethren in Hereford were among the earliest in England. This congregational history traces their story from 1837 until the beginning of the 21st century.
Harold Rowdon & Tim Grass, F. Roy Coad (2012). Two of the leading historians of the movement pay tribute to the life and writings of the Brethren historian Roy Coad who died in 2011.
Roger N. Shuff, Open to Closed: The Growth of Exclusivism among Brethren in Britain 1848-1953 (1997). This paper shows how open the Exclusive Brethren remained in admission to the Lord's supper while J.N. Darby was alive and how they reflected the cultural milieu of Romanticism. But, it argues, exclusivist trends grew, particularly under James Taylor Snr.
A. Christopher Smith, J. N. Darby in Switzerland: At the European Crossroads of Brethren History and European Evangelicalism (1983), which appeared in the Christian Brethren Review, shows how determinative for his later career was Darby's extended stay in Switzerland in the 1830s.
Mark Stevenson, Early Brethren Leaders and the Question of Calvinism (2010). Is Calvinism biblical? This is currently disputed by many Christians, but this paper demonstrates conclusively what the early Brethren thought.
Timothy C.F. Stunt, Brethren or Philistine? (2000). Thanks partly to Edmund Gosse's Father and Son, the Brethren have for long been seen as the antithesis of Arnold's 'sweetness and light'. But scholars are now beginning to question the myth constructed by Gosse.
Timothy C. F. Stunt, Leonard Strong: The Motives and Experiences of Early Missionary Work in British Guiana (1983), which was published in the Christian Brethren Review, examines the life of one of the early Brethren missionaries.
Timothy C. F. Stunt, An Early Account of the Brethren in 1838 (2012). This paper provides an introduction to an account of an early Brethen conference at Clifton in 1838. The account by T. G. Bell, too, is reproduced.
Timothy C. F. Stunt, Eliza Cooke (1778-1837): A Biographical Footnote (2011). A biographical sketch of an early English member of the Bourg-de-Four assembly in Geneva.
Timothy C.F. Stunt, John Jewell Penstone (1817-1902), His Family and the Brethren (2008). J.J. Penstone was an artist, principally known for his etchings, and a member of the early Brethren. This paper examines his work in the context of his life and times, and also discusses his son, Edward Penstone, who was responsible for the portrait of J.N. Darby in the National Portrait Gallery, London. (Due to the graphics it contains, this paper may take longer to open, depending on the speed of your connection.)
Timothy C.F. Stunt, John Nelson Darby: The Scholarly Enigma (2003). Darby had a wonderfully enquiring mind and kept abreast of a huge amount of contemporary learning and writing, as this paper demonstrates.
Timothy C. F. Stunt, The Plymouth Family of A.N. Harris (2010). Harris wrote an early account of the assembly in Plymouth, and in this paper Dr Stunt teases out Harris's family connections with this seminal Brethren congregation.
Timothy C.F. Stunt, Some Very Early Plymouth Brethren (2009). An account of the career of Christopher Passmore (1784-1833) and his family which sheds light on the life of George Wigram and other early Brethren.
Timothy C.F. Stunt, The Early Development of Arthur Augustus Rees and His Relations with the Brethren (2006). The subject of this paper was a former naval officer who was the minister of an independent congregation in Sunderland, but he had associations with the Brethren as well as the scandalous Henry James Prince.
Timothy C.F. Stunt, The Tribulation of Controversy: A Review Article (2003). Dave MacPherson, author of The Rapture Plot, has been a persistent critic of J.D Darby's originality, yet his book raises serious questions about the nature of historical enquiry.
Neil Summerton, Jeremy Mudditt (2010). The Brethren movement has an immense debt to the publisher Jeremy Mudditt. Dr Neil Summerton recalls a productive life in this obituary.
Pauline Summerton, Cholmeley Evangelical Church, Highgate, London, 1884-1994: A History from a Personal Perspective (2000). This history of a significant north London Brethren church is by a long-term member who examines its evolution over 100 years.
Various, Mary Batchelor (2010). Perhaps the most prolific writer among UK Brethren in the late twentieth century, various contributors pay tribute to Mary Batchelor in this obituary.
Max Weremchuk, Is Darby Still Relevant? (2003). Some 200 years after his birth, this paper, by a biographer of J.N. Darby, commends the wisdom of Darby's attitudes and his ideas on Christian unity and ministry.
Elisabeth Wilson, 'The irregularity of killing people': Tasmanian Brethren Responses to World War I (2009). An examination from primary sources of the response among the Brethren to conscription in the Australian island of Tasmania.
Elisabeth Wilson, Your citizenship is in Heaven: Brethren Attitudes to Authority and Government (2003). Submission to the powers that be and separation from the world was a particularly Brethren dichotomy. The considerable range of opinion in reconciling these opposed principles is examined in this paper with special reference to pacifism.
Elisabeth Wilson, "The eyes of the authorities are upon us": The Brethren and World War I (2004). Given their tradition of pacifism, World War I faced the Brethren with a dilemma, but it shocked them out of their insularity, showing them they could not ignore the changing world around them.