John Wesley and the Education of Children: Gender, Class and Piety, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

John Wesley and the Education of Children

Gender, Class and Piety, 1st Edition

By Linda A. Ryan


200 pages

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Hardback: 9781138092365
pub: 2017-11-06
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315107516
pub: 2017-11-06
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Scholars have historically associated John Wesley’s educational endeavours with the boarding school he established at Kingswood, near Bristol, in 1746. However, his educational endeavours extended well beyond that single institution, even to non-Methodist educational programmes. This book sets out Wesley’s thinking and practice concerning child-rearing and education, particularly in relation to gender and class, in its broader eighteenth-century social and cultural context.

Drawing on writings from Churchmen, Dissenters, economists, philosophers and reformers as well as educationalists, this study demonstrates that the political, religious and ideological backdrop to Wesley’s work was neither static nor consistent. It also highlights Wesley’s eighteenth-century fellow Evangelicals including Lady Huntingdon, John Fletcher, Hannah More and Robert Raikes to demonstrate whether Wesley’s thinking and practice around schooling was in any way unique.

This study sheds light on how Wesley’s attitudes to education were influencing and influenced by the society in which he lived and worked. As such, it will be of great interest to academics with an interest in Methodism, education and eighteenth-century attitudes towards gender and class.

Table of Contents


1 Child-rearing and Education in Eighteenth-century England

2 Influences that helped shape John Wesley’s Educational Thinking

3 The Implementation of John Wesley’s Thinking on Education

4 Educating Pauper Children: 1723-1780

5 Kingswood Boarding School: 1746-1780

6 Growing Tension between Education and Evangelism: 1760-1791

7 Educating Pauper Children after 1780


About the Author

Linda A. Ryan is amature researcher with an interest in early Methodism, and more specifically eighteenth-century attitudes to children, education and gender. She has previously published articles in Wesley & Methodist Studies and the Journal of Religious History, Literature and Culture.

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:
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Education
RELIGION / Christianity / Methodist
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State