John Wesley's Pneumatology: Perceptible Inspiration, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

John Wesley's Pneumatology

Perceptible Inspiration, 1st Edition

By Joseph W. Cunningham


172 pages

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Paperback: 9781138274242
pub: 2016-09-09
Hardback: 9781409457343
pub: 2014-05-28
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pub: 2016-05-06
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Perceptible inspiration, a term used by John Wesley to describe the complicated relationship between Holy Spirit, religious knowledge, and the nature of spiritual being, is not unlike the term 'Methodist' which was also coined by critics of Methodism during the eighteenth century in Britain. John Wesley's adversaries, especially the pseudonymous John Smith with whom Wesley exchanged letters for a period of three years, frequently challenged the plausibility of direct spiritual sensation, which Wesley defended. What does Wesley mean by perceptible inspiration? What does the teaching reveal about the nature and existence of God in Wesley's thinking? What does it suggest about the spiritual nature of humankind? In John Wesley's Pneumatology, it is argued that 'perceptible inspiration' more than a sidebar of Methodist thought, offers a useful model for considering the various features of Wesley's views on the work of the Spirit in relation to human existence, participatory religious knowledge, and moral theology.


’Cunningham shows that Wesley was not only a man of one book (the Bible) and fully Christ-imbued (christocentric) but also perhaps the first postmodern, pentecostal, and pneumatological theologian. Wesley's robust pneumatology remains ahead of multiple contemporary discussions and, for those capable of perceiving the Spirit's inspiration, will catalyze their pneumatological imagination for the next generation.’ Amos Yong, Fuller Theological Seminary, USA

About the Author

Joseph W. Cunningham has a PhD from the University of Manchester (Nazarene Theological College), UK. He is an assistant editor of Wesley and Methodist Studies, a peer-reviewed journal annually published by the Manchester Wesley Research Centre and the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History. He teaches in the department of philosophy at Saginaw Valley State University, USA and is senior minister at Saginaw First Free Methodist Church.

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 / Christianity / Mennonite
RELIGION / Theology