Wesley and Methodist Studies: Volume 2

Wesley and Methodist Studies, volume 2 edited by William Gibson (Didsbury Press, 2010). £8 for 144 page journal-style paperback.

This is an annual publication of the Manchester Wesley Research Centre, the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History, and Oxford Brookes University. It contains five articles, one newly-transcribed historical document, and six book reviews on Wesleyan/Methodist themes. Two of the articles look especially at Charles Wesley, his anti-Catholicism and his contribution to the Methodist doctrine of Christian perfection. One gives a helpful look at Irish Methodism, and is rich in statistical information. The newly-transcribed document is the text of a sermon given by Mary Fletcher (née Bosanquet), one of the first Methodist woman preachers, in the Vicarage at Madeley some years after her more famous husband John Fletcher had died. This is prefaced by an interesting discussion of why her many talks and other pious works have not been published before (some, it seems, did not wish to thereby affirm the practice of women preaching). The introduction is longer than the sermon itself, however, which takes up only two pages and is not especially edifying or inspiring.  All in all this has more of the feel of a journal than a book, of course, though I am sure it will (and should) attract the attention of Methodist and Revival scholars in future years.

This review first appeared in Churchman 126/1 (2012).

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