Pursuing Social Holiness: The Band Meeting in Wesleys Thought and Popular Methodist Practice

Paperback | September 10, 2015

byKevin M. Watson

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Kevin M. Watson offers the first in-depth examination of an essential early Methodist tradition: the band meeting, a small group of five to seven people who focused on the confession of sin in order to grow in holiness. Watson shows how the band meeting, which figured significantly in JohnWesley's theology of discipleship, united Wesley's emphasis on the importance of holiness with his conviction that Christians are most likely to make progress in the Christian life together, rather than in isolation.Demonstrating that neither John Wesley's theology nor popular Methodism can be understood independent of each other, Watson explores how Wesley synthesized important aspects of Anglican piety (an emphasis on a disciplined practice of the means of grace) and Moravian piety (an emphasis on anexperience of justification by faith and the witness of the Spirit) in his own version of the band meeting. Pursuing Social Holiness is an essential contribution to understanding the critical role of the band meeting in the development of British Methodism and shifting concepts of community ineighteenth-century British society.

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Kevin M. Watson offers the first in-depth examination of an essential early Methodist tradition: the band meeting, a small group of five to seven people who focused on the confession of sin in order to grow in holiness. Watson shows how the band meeting, which figured significantly in JohnWesley's theology of discipleship, united Wesle...

Kevin M. Watson is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies at Seattle Pacific University. He completed his PhD at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) in the History of the Christian Tradition. An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, Watson lives with his wife and three children in Seattle, WA.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.9 × 6.1 × 0.71 inPublished:September 10, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190270950

ISBN - 13:9780190270957

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsList of AbbreviationsIntroduction1. Forerunners of the Early Methodist Band Meeting2. John Wesley's Structure and Theology of Discipleship3. The Bands as a Key to the Distinctive Wesleyan Synthesis of Anglican and Moravian Piety4. ''The Band Was of Great Service to Me'': Early Popular Methodist Experience of the Band Meeting (ca. 1739 - ca. 1765)5. ''We Had a Heaven among Us'': Transition in the Popular Practice of the Bands (ca. 1766 - ca. 1801)ConclusionAppendices:A. Fetter Lane Rules (I) (1738)B. Fetter Lane Rules (II) (1738)C. ''Rules of the Band Societies'' (1738)D. ''Directions Given to the Band Societies' (1744)E. ''A Method of Confession drawn up by Mr Whitefield, for the Use of the Women belonging to the Religious Societies - Taken from the Original, under Mr Whitefield's own Hand'' (1739) F. Excerpt from William Seward's Manuscript Diary on the Importance and Method of Band Meetings (1740)F. Excerpt from William Seward's Manuscript Diary on the Importance and Method of Band Meetings (1740)G. ''The Method of Mr. Westlay Band Meetings,'' Samuel Roberts Excerpt from Manuscript VolumeH. Of the Right Method of Meeting Classes and Bands, in the Methodist-Societies by the Late Mr. Charles PerronetNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This groundbreaking study offers the most detailed account to date of band meetings in early Wesleyan Methodism. Watson first demonstrates the distinctive synthesis of Anglican and Moravian precedents in John Wesley's mature model for the bands. He then engages a range of primary sources toprovide a richly textured account of the practice of bands through the eighteenth century. Highly recommended." --Randy L. Maddox, William Kellon Quick Professor of Wesleyan Methodist Studies, Duke Divinity School