Chris Gehrz has put together an impressive bibliography of the best books on the history of pietism. Anyone interested in the history of this movement should check it out and start reading! Here is a small taste:
I still think Dale Brown’s Understanding Pietism is
the place to start (originally published in the late 1970s, but then
revised in the mid-Nineties), though a newer, inexpensive supplement
emphasizing Pietist ethics is Michelle Clifton-Soderstrom’s Angels, Worms, and Bogeys. (Pricier, but also relatively concise is Harry Yeide, Jr., Studies in Classical Pietism.) Or if you’re not yet sure you want to actually spend money on this, but want a place to start: the 1986 issue of Christian History magazine on Pietism
is (as of yesterday) available as full-text, with articles by scholars
like Don Durnbaugh, John Weborg, Gary Sattler, and Ernest Stoeffler and
excerpts from Pietist writings and hymns.
You can find good chapters on German Pietism embedded in larger
narratives or collections, which helpfully puts the movement in context.
My favorite is “Pietists Seek to Renew Lutheran Theology,” in Roger
Olson’s hefty, but brilliantly readable historical theology text, The Story of Christian Theology. From the Covenant Church, John Weborg contributed “Pietism: Theology in Service of Living toward God” to The Variety of American Evangelicalism, eds. Donald W. Dayton and Robert K. Johnston.
At risk of engaging in rank self-promotion, I do think that our 2011 collection of essays, The Pietist Impulse in Christianity (eds.
Christian Collins Winn, G. William Carlson, Eric Holst, and myself) is a
good place to start if you’re not afraid to dig into some scholarly
work on a wide variety of aspects of Pietism (broadly defined). If you
want a preview… after the book came out I wrote a series of posts
summarizing each section of the book. (And if you have lots of money to
spend and want to sample the current scholarship on Pietism studies,
you couldn’t do much better than Pietism in Germany and North America 1680-1820, eds. Jonathan Strom et al.)