The notion of the Christian gentleman resides within both the historical study of manners and etiquette, and a religious studies analysis of practical piety, active virtue, and Christian perfection. In the 19th century, the Christian gentleman represented a higher ideal than mere politeness and courtesy. Gentlemen and Christians co-existed in English society, and indeed many gentlemen were Christian, however the melding of the Christian with the Gentleman elevated both ideals.

Manners, civility, and social care, within the context of the 18th and 19th century evangelical movement, coalesced around the ideals of extolling the love of God, reaching out to the masses, and living a life closer to Christ. In this thesis, through a study of the sermons of John Wesley, etiquette literature, and British and Australian evangelical magazines and newspapers as well as other archival material, it is argued that the rise of Wesley and the evangelical movement led to a divergence in manners culture. The association of manners with both holiness and contemporary social care issues, transformed manners from a device for social advancement to a practical outworking of the neighbourliness ethic and principle of agape love.


E319 Forgan Smith