John Wesley, Practical Divinity and the Defence of Literature: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

John Wesley, Practical Divinity and the Defence of Literature

1st Edition

By Emma Salgård Cunha


200 pages

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Hardback: 9781138305021
pub: 2017-12-11
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John Wesley (1703–1791), leader of British Methodism, was one of the most prolific literary figures of the eighteenth century, responsible for creating and disseminating a massive corpus of religious literature and for instigating a sophisticated programme of reading, writing and publishing within his Methodist Societies. John Wesley, Practical Divinity and the Defence of Literature takes the influential genre of practical divinity as a framework for understanding Wesley’s role as an author, editor and critic of popular religious writing. It asks why he advocated the literary arts as a valid aspect of his evangelical theology, and how his Christian poetics impacted upon the religious experience of his followers.

Table of Contents

Methodism and the Defence of Literature: An Introduction

1 Methodist Literary Culture: Literacy and Grace

2 Wesley’s Christian Library: Practicality, Controversy and the Methodist Canon

3 Wesley in the Literary Sphere: The Methodist Miscellany

4 Wesleyan Poetics: Practical Divinity and the Function of Literature

5 Negotiating Nonconformity: Practical Divinity and the Politics of Methodist Hymnody

6 Experience, Experiment and Wesley’s Spiritual Autobiography


About the Author

Emma Salgård Cunha is Lecturer in English at Middlebury College’s Oxford Humanities Program and College Lecturer in Theology at Keble College, Oxford. Her research focuses on the relationship between religion and literature in the long eighteenth century.

About the Series

Routledge Methodist Studies Series

Editorial Board: Ted A. Campbell, David N. Hempton, Priscilla Pope-Levison, Martin Wellings and Karen B. Westerfield Tucker

Methodism remains one of the largest denominations in the USA and is growing in South America, Africa and Asia (especially in Korea and China). This series spans Methodist history and theology, exploring its success as a movement historically and in its global expansion. Books in the series will look particularly at features within Methodism which attract wide interest, including: the unique position of the Wesleys; the prominent role of women and minorities in Methodism; the interaction between Methodism and politics; the ‘Methodist conscience’ and its motivation for temperance and pacifist movements; the wide range of Pentecostal, holiness and evangelical movements; and the interaction of Methodism with different cultures.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 18th Century
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Religion
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Christianity / Methodist
RELIGION / Christian Theology / History