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The longing and the Legacy: Liturgy and Life in the Hymns of William Williams of Pantycelyn

James, E. Wyn 2016. The longing and the Legacy: Liturgy and Life in the Hymns of William Williams of Pantycelyn. I.A.H. Bulletin 43 (2015) , pp. 284-299.

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William Williams (1717–91) of Pantycelyn was among the most prominent leaders of the Methodist Revival in Wales in the 18th century and the greatest of all Welsh hymn-writers. He remains today an iconic figure in Welsh cultural life, despite the significant secularization of that culture by now. Indeed, it could be argued that no-one had more influence on the minds and world-view of Welsh-speakers over much of the past 250 years than Williams Pantycelyn. This paper gives an overview of his life, work and legacy. Beginning by outlining the great changes that transformed Welsh life from the mid-18th century onward, and especially the revolution in religious adherence and patterns of worship caused by the remarkable growth of Methodism and evangelical Nonconformity, the paper then places Williams and his work in that context. The Methodist Revival brought with it a strong emphasis on the experiential. Converts would gather regularly in ‘society’ meetings, often termed seiadau profiad (‘experience meetings’), and it was in those meetings, with their fervent worship, that the Welsh hymn began to develop in earnest from the 1740s onward.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Welsh
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB1001 Celtic languages and literature
Publisher: International Fellowship for Research of Hymnology
ISSN: 0925-5451
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 14:15

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