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Wesley and the People Called Methodists Paperback – June 1, 1995

4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

(2012) Richard P. Heitzenrater is William Kellon Quick Professor Emeritus of Church History and Wesley Studies at The Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; and General Editor of the Bicentennial Edition of the Works of John Wesley. He is also a member of the board of Kingswood Books.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press; Assumed First edition (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0687443113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0687443116
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Heitzenrater's book is the best single-volume work on Wesley. He has, in an accessible prose, documented Wesley's life and the foundations of the Methodist Movement better than anyone before him. It utilizes the sources that are the foundation of the older biographies, such as Wesley's journal. More importantly, however, it effectively utilizes nontraditional sources for understanding his life. He creatively and effectively uses Wesley's theological writings, the writings of contemporaries, and conference minutes to more fully tell Wesley's story.
Heitzenrater is the Albert C. Outler Chair of Wesleyan Studies at Duke Divinity School. He is widely recognized as the foremost expert on Wesley's life. He is also the current editor of the Works of Wesley; he has taken that role since Outler's death.
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By A Customer on February 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a superb book by Richard P. Heitzenrater. The narrative moves us through the many seasons of John Wesley's ministry, noting significant events and conflicts along the way. But this is a book that is very much limited to a focus on Wesley. It is as though a spotlight is on our protagonist and everyone else is given only minor occasions for sharing in his light...or being heard in the darkened background.
The strongest criticism of this book is that it defies its own title -- there are no PEOPLE called Methodists in this book. For one of the most profound and popular religious movements since the Reformation, it is amazing that Heitzenrater has neglected to include a portrayal of the people themselves. Who were these people? I am not talking about Wesley's aids here. I am talking about the common folk who made up the lion's share of the movement. There is no mention in this book of women's spirituality (in a movement made up of approximately 60 percent women!). There is no discussion of the social factors surrounding the rise of Methodism. So much of the story is missed.
Nevertheless! This is an excellent introduction to the topic of Wesley and Methodism...it is only that it could have been so much more.
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Format: Paperback
Richard Heitzenrater's book, although at times extremely heavy reading and subject matter sometimes difficult to appreciate at first blush is an excellent example of drawing the "historical" into the same sphere as "contemporary" subjects.
This is an excellent book for those seeking to gain a greater and more informed understanding of the sometimes difficult relationship betwen Wesley and the early Methodists - they were not always on the friendliest of terms.
A book highly reccomened for those wishing and willing to read a heavy but non-the-less readable book.
Congraulations to Richard Heitzenrater.
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Format: Paperback
Professor Richard Heitzenrater's "Wesley and the People Called Methodist" (1995) is destined to be come a Christian classic. This well-informed text (citing 100s of sources by the helpful "scientific notation" sourcing system) tells the story of 18th century Methodism. Throughout Heitzenrater fills-in many blanks not mentioned in other histories.

Heitzenrater provides a multitude of black and white pictures, maps, graphs, and charts to make his careful and convincing points. Beginning his narrative just prior to John Wesley's birth, the author moves to the high points of Wesley's life. We hear about his Oxford University days, his failed mission to Georgia, his Aldersgate conversion experience, the origins of Wesley's field preaching, the organization of the Methodist societies in London and across England, Wesley's concern for the souls and bodies of his people, the establishment of Methodism's first health clinic and school, Wesley's opinion about the ordinations of 1784, recruiting Methodist ministers, and much more. This book offers much to the reader.

The book also documents 18th century English living conditions, mortality rates, population wide ignorance, the English fear of a Franco-type revolution, Anglican unconcern for mass poverty and disease, and royal ignorance, pomp, and avarice. (Wesley remained loyal to his English king to the very end.) Heitzenrater presents the founder of Methodism from Wesley's own hand (he reviews many primary source documents penned by Mr. Wesley). From many of his sermons we learn Wesley's theologies of justification, sanctification and glorification. We are taught that, by the end, the senior English churchman rode over 100,000 miles on horseback through his long career.
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Format: Paperback
This book has to be on the list of the top twenty-five books on early Methodism and the lives of early Methodist's. However, the book has a particular dryness, and if one get past the dryness of the writing, this book is a must get for anyone wanting to explore the history of early Methodist's. Heitzenrater begins with John Wesley's impact on early Methodist's to the different rises of Methodism, the impact of Calvinism on early 18th century Methodist's, and how Methodism evolved through the development of different societies, classes, camp ground meetings and conferences which helped to secure Methodism into the social and religous fabric of British life. This book is great for anyone wishing to discover the roots of Methodism, becuase of it's rich historical details. Another great addition to the book, which helped to clear up the dryness of the reading, was the authors use of visual aids (great examples), and sidenotes of John Wesley's work. This book is a great historical door to the past, and a must read for anyone wishing to discover more about, "The people called Methodist."
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