At a time when the importance of denominational identity is in decline, The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies is an important contribution to the history, theology, and praxis of Methodism in the twenty‐first century. The book argues that Methodism is a “living, dynamic tradition” and that it is important for a family of over 75 million members and adherents throughout the world to reflect on its heritage. The forty‐four contributors, drawn from different countries, and not all of them Methodist, were invited to explore the historical nature of Methodism, but also to “develop fresh insights, hypotheses, and perspectives” for the future. The five sections of the book cover the history, ecclesial forms, worship, praxis, theology as well as the ethics and politics of the movement. A multi‐authored volume of this nature contains many important scholarly essays as well as some which are more pedestrian in nature, but with very few instances of hagiographical narratives. Any weaknesses that are noted do not detract from the enormous value of the volume. Perhaps the strangest essay is on “Music and Hymnody” by Swee Hong Lim which focuses on music and hymnody in Asia, but with little reference to the Wesley brothers’ contribution
Journal of Religious History – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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