Wesley and Methodist Studies

Now in its 3rd year, Wesley and Methodist Studies, originating from the Manchester Wesley Research Centre, is becoming the leading British publication in this area. Each volume contains a number of articles by leading British and American Wesleyan scholars and it can be ranked alongside the long established American Wesleyan Theological Journal in its quality and influence.

Part of the significance of Wesley and Methodist Studies is that it escapes from the historic captivity of too much of recent British scholarship and engages the Wesleyan emphases with the contemporary context. A good example of this is Phil Meadows’ article ‘Entering the Divine Embrace: Towards an Ancient-Future Wesleyan Theology of Evangelism’ where a Wesleyan understanding of evangelism is challenged by contemporary ancient-future discourses and evangelism studies. Meadows, formerly Professor of Evangelism at Garrett Evangelical Seminary in Chicago, is currently lecturer in Missiology and Wesleyan Studies at Cliff College. Other articles consider issues related to salvation, to the emergence of Free Methodism in Britain in the last forty years and global black Methodism.

Like many journals, there is a tendency to delve into some obscurity, and a fresh annotation of Samuel Wesley’s letter to Mr Smith in 1696, discovered in 2005, may be the stuff of serious academia but it is unlikely to get the pulse racing of many. However, a careful reading of the letter where Samuel Wesley promises Mr Smith ‘four new half crowns’ may provide some evidence as to why John Wesley experienced his father being in a debtor’s prison.

The publication follows the normal journal pattern of peer reviewed articles, book reviews, scholarly notes and additionally contains some detail on the Manchester Wesley Research Centre. The editorial board contains some of the leading names in Wesleyan scholarship including Randy Maddox, Richard Heitzenrater and Jason Vickers.

If readers are not familiar with this journal, it is deliberately low cost (£8 for a personal subscription) and available from Didsbury Press, Dene Road, Manchester, M20 2GU and didsburypress@nazarene.ac.uk.