Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

Living Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Holiness Tradition

  • G. MaragkoudakisEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_9213-1

Holiness or perfectionist beliefs and teachings have existed since the first century, for e.g., in the works of apostolic fathers like Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement of Rome, where Christian holiness comes from fulfilling the law of righteousness. This tradition was kept alive through the monastic way of life, which roughly began in the third century. Concerning the Holiness Tradition/Movement, which was the dominant force within nineteenth century American Protestantism, one can say that it was founded during the first half of the nineteenth century by Methodists Timothy Merritt (a preacher, who edited The Christian’s Manual: A Treatise on Christian Perfectionin 1824) and two sisters, named Sarah Worrall Lankford (who founded the “Tuesday Meetings for the Promotion of Holiness in New York City” in 1836) and Phoebe Worrall Palmer (who gained leadership of the meetings after 1839). The Tuesday meetings were attended by Episcopalian, Dutch Reformed, Baptist, Congregationalist,...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Brendlinger, I., & Mueller, E. E. (2006). “Psychological implications of the doctrine of christian perfection with special reference to John Wesley’s View”. Faculty Publications – College of Christian Studies. Paper 115.Google Scholar
  2. Dieter, M. E. (1996). The holiness revival of the nineteenth century. Lanham/London: The Scarecrow Press.Google Scholar
  3. Kostlevy, W. (2009). Historical dictionary of the holiness movement. Lanham/Toronto/Plymouth: The Scarecrow Press.Google Scholar
  4. Kostlevy, W. (2010). The A to Z of the holiness movement. Lanham/Toronto/Plymouth: The Scarecrow Press.Google Scholar
  5. Synan, V. (1997). The holiness – Pentecostal tradition: Charismatic movements in the twentieth century. Grand Rapids/Cambridge: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Theology, Faculty of TheologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece