Beginning as a renewal movement within Anglicanism in the eighteenth century, Methodism had become the largest Protestant denomination in the USA in the nineteenth century, and is today one of the most vibrant forms of Christianity. Representing a complex spiritual and evangelistic experiment that involves a passionate commitment to worldwide mission, it covers a global network of Christian denominations. In this Very Short Introduction William J. Abraham trace Methodism from its origins in the work of John Wesley and the hymns of his brother, Charles Wesley, in the eighteenth century, right up to the present. Considering the identity, nature, and history of Methodism, Abraham provides a fresh account of the place of Methodism in the life and thought of the Christian Church. Describing the message of Methodism, and who the Methodists are, he also considers the practices of Methodism, and discusses the global impact of Methodism and its decline in the homelands. Finally Abraham looks forward, and considers the future prospects for Methodism.
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Introduction1: John Wesley and the origins of Methodism2: Supporting background music3: The people called methodists4: The message of Methodism5: The search for credible alternatives6: The practices of Methodism7: The impact of Methodism8: The decline of Methodism9: The future prospects of MethodismReferencesFurther ReadingIndex
William J. Abraham is the Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies, and an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. He grew up in Methodism in Ireland, knows Methodism intimately in its diverse forms within the USA, and has had extensive experience of Methodism in Europe, Central America, and Malaysia. As a scholar he has worked as a philosophical and systematic theologian in conversation with the Methodist tradition from Wesley to the present. Aside from various papers on various historical aspects of Methodist theology, he has co-edited with James E. Kirby, The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies (OUP, 2011) , and written a popular introduction to the theology of John Wesley, Wesley for Armchair Theologians (Westminster John Knox Press, 2005).
Reviews for Methodism: A Very Short Introduction
This very readable work is not only entertaining; it also succeeds in making Methodism accessible to both the scholar and the non-specialist. * Philipp Reisner, Reading Religion *