New Wesley Article

Posted by David McEwan | Uncategorized | Wednesday 26 February 2014 7:44 pm

With thanks to the Duke Summer Wesley Seminar, and on behalf of my co-author, Deakin University’s Joanna Cruickshank, I would like to bring an article to your collective attention.  Though it is brief, our article fruitfully interweaves two closely-related streams of research, Joanna’s analysis of a set of period letters sent to Charles Wesley and my close readings of a variety of primary sources made available through the Bicentennial Editions of the Works of Wesley project.\r\n\r\nBrian C. Clark and Joanna Cruickshank, “Converting Mrs. Crouch: Women, Wonders and the Formation of English Methodism, 1738-1741,” The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 65, , N0. 1, January 2014, pp. 66-83.\r\n\r\nIn this article, we present a revisionist narrative that portrays the division of the Fetter Lane Society between Moravian and Wesleyan factions as a bitter battle to secure the loyalties of the female majority of the society.  We further demonstrate the extent to which differing perspectives on the proper governance of relations between the sexes became one of the most important factors fueling division between Methodist and Moravian factions, to such an extent that it became a dominant theme of anti-Methodist pejorative. We offer arguments concerning the religious motivations and loyalties of those who became the first generation of Methodist women, concluding that loyalty to the Wesley brothers was closely tied to both their ability to work miraculous spiritual deliverance and their status as Anglican priests offering Anglican sacraments.  In short, we argue that the division of the Fetter Lane Society between Moravian and Methodist factions can simply not be understood without reference to gender. \r\n\r\nBrian Clark

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