John Wesley

(3565 words)
  • Deborah Madden (University of Sussex)

It was the pristine purity of the early Christians that inspired Anglican clergyman, John Wesley, to create and found the Methodist movement based on his vision. Originally a pejorative expression used to deride the strict religious regularity of those students belonging to the so-called Holy Club at Oxford, the name “Methodist” was positively adopted by Wesley, who gave life and leadership to a burgeoning, but significant, religious movement. From the mid-eighteenth century, “Methodist” became a generic word to describe anyone with an emotional faith, even moderate evangelical Christians. In 1795, four years after Wesley's death, the Methodists broke away from their parent Anglican Church, whilst the Primitive Methodists …

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Madden, Deborah. "John Wesley". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 February 2005
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Articles on Wesley's works

  1. Hymns and Sacred Poems
  2. Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Related Groups

  1. Religious Reform, Protestants, Dissenters