Dr David Bundy named Associate Director of the MWRC

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The MWRC is pleased to announce that Dr. David Bundy, Research Professor of World Christian Studies at New York Theological Seminary, has accepted the role of associate director of the MWRC, commencing January 2017.

Bundy will work alongside Director Dr. Geordan Hammond and two administrative assistants to carry out the day-to-day work of the centre, as well as plan events and work with the centre’s 13 partner institutions.

“I have been very impressed with the use of resources, the quality of work that is done in and around the MWRC, and the positive influence it has had in the UK, but also beyond, and the vast network of connections,” Bundy said. “I hope that I can entice some of my friends to also consider the MWRC as a locus for some of their interests and projects and a place where they can find help. I hope we can find more doctoral students to work with the resources that are here in Manchester – both people resources and other intellectual resources. My goal is not to remake anything but to help support the good things I see going on.”

For the last six years, Bundy has lived primarily in Europe so that he could pursue research on the development of holiness movements in France, Britain and Scandinavia. He and his wife, Nancy, call southern California their North American home.

Having grown up attending holiness churches in the United States, Bundy initially wrote a book on Keswick while serving on the faculty at Asbury Theological Seminary, where he taught Greek and Hebrew. His interest has developed into a life work around discovering and promoting a deeper understanding of the history of holiness and Pentecostal movements around the world, and their relationships to one another.

“I was initially curious if there is anything beyond [American holiness movements], and what it is and how would it relate to us,” he said. “It has been a series of wonderful discoveries of the lives, thought and histories of interesting people and movements.

After earning his M.Div. and Th.M. from Asbury, he relocated to Belgium, where he held a Licentiate in Oriental Philology and History at Université Catholique de Louvain, studying and teaching there for 11 years as well as conducting research on Syriac, Armenian, Arabic and Middle Eastern Christian studies.

During those years, his interest in European holiness and Pentecostal history led him to found two Pentecostal organizations and a journal (now the Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association), all of which continue. Additionally, he earned a Ph.D. in European Pentecostal history in 2009 from Uppsala University.

“I recognized that the holiness background in Europe was badly understood by all concerned,” he said. “I started to do some pushing on that in Scandinavia and Belgium and the Netherlands and just a tiny bit in England. I mapped out very carefully what those relationships were, how they evolved in ways that were very different from the North American experiences of the USA, Canada and Mexico.”

Grants allowed him to continue his work in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and in France. He has been an invited lecturer in 44 countries, and taught graduate-level courses in 28 countries. 

In 2015 Bundy was a Visiting Fellow with MWRC, spending six weeks exploring in the Nazarene Theological College (NTC) archives and other repositories across the United Kingdom, researching “The British Roots of the Korean and Japanese Holiness Churches.” Bundy is now working toward a book on holiness movements in the UK, 1870-1920.

The Bundys will reside in Manchester through July 2017, to continue his research and to learn more about NTC and the MWRC.

“When you’re deeply involved in [research] for personal reasons, as well as for institutional reasons, it gives one a more complete perspective on what one is representing to one’s colleagues and friends around the world. And I hope it makes me more useful to people who are here doing research.”

“We’re honoured that Dr. Bundy has chosen to invest his time and talents into the MWRC,” said Dr. Hammond. “His astonishingly wide networks of scholars and church leaders in the Wesleyan traditions and beyond have already begun to bless the Centre.”

Dr Bundy has authored Keswick (1975, 1983, 2012), Visions of Apostolic Mission (2009), and has contributed to reference works, including the Dictionnaire d’histoire et de gegraphie ecclesastiques, Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, Anchor Bible Dictionary, Dictionary of Religion in America,  The Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, Mission Legacies, Dictionary of Missionary Biography, International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, and Norsk pinsekristendom og karismatisk fornyelse. He has served on the boards of the European Pentecostal Theological Association, North American Patristic Society, American Theological Library Association, Wesleyan Theological Society, and Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, among other corporations and educational institutions. 

David Bebbington's Reflections on his JRRI-MWRC Visiting Fellowship

I was grateful to be awarded the John Rylands Research Institute/MWRC Joint Visiting Fellowship for 2016. In the autumn of 2016 I had research leave from the University of Stirling and so was able to spend time in Manchester during the latter part of the year as well as during the summer.

My project was designed to investigate Methodist growth in the British Isles during the Victorian era. That entailed studying overall denominational strategies and, as case-studies of growth, two areas where Methodism was strong and where evidence was readily available. The aim was to collect a large body of data from the Methodist Archives kept at the John Rylands Library on these topics. The correspondence of Jabez Bunting and other Wesleyan ministers proved less illuminating than had been hoped because the sources contained little about strategy. Home Mission annual reports, however, were much more informative, supplying sufficient evidence to prepare a paper on ‘The Mid-Victorian Revolution in Wesleyan Methodist Home Mission’, which was delivered at Nazarene Theological College in November 2016.

Thanks to a member of staff at the John Rylands Library, I discovered five boxes of papers relating to Methodism in the Shetland Isles, an area I had already intended to investigate as a case-study of home mission. The boxes contained the papers of James Loutit, the mainland representative of Shetland Methodism for much of the time between the 1840s and the 1870s. Loutit kept every in-letter, made a copy of every out-letter and despatched them all in 1877 to the Mission House, from which they have come down to Methodist Archives. The string on many of the bundles had never been untied. This collection gave an insight into the real workings of Methodism on the ground such as is unavailable, I believe, for any other part of nineteenth-century Methodism. It therefore constituted treasure trove for the current project and so I spent a large proportion of my time at Manchester examining its contents. The boxes also turned out to contain details of a campaign run by Loutit to alter the relations of landlord and tenant in Shetland that ultimately led to the important Crofters’ Act of 1886. This political effort, hitherto unknown to the secondary literature, was an unexpected find. It is an example of what the rich resources of the Methodist Archives have to offer.

In addition, a visit from Manchester to Leeds at an early stage in the project established that the West Yorkshire Archives contain ample records of Victorian Methodism in that city. I have made several visits to the archives to explore Leeds as a case-study of Methodist home mission alongside the Shetland Isles. On a couple of days when the John Rylands Library was not open, I was able to use the Wesley Research Centre at the Nazarene College, finding useful sources by looking along the shelves. I also enjoyed meeting friends old and new from the college, the university, and elsewhere to discuss matters relating to Methodist history.

The project will continue with research on other areas, but the time spent in Manchester was extremely productive. It is planned to lead to several articles and eventually to a monograph on Victorian Methodist home mission.

Prof David Bebbington is Professor of History at University of Stirling and an Honorary Fellow of the MWRC.

Deadline for Visiting Fellowships 16 January, 2017

The deadline for applications for the MWRC Visiting Fellowships is fast approaching. There are two visiting fellowships through the MWRC with a deadline of 16 January, 2017.

The first is the 2017 MWRC Visiting Fellow Programme. This programme, in its fifth year, has allowed post-doctoral scholars, such as Dr Priscilla Pope-Levison, to visit the MWRC, the Methodist Archives and Research Centre at the John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester Library, and the Nazarene Theological College’s Hugh Rae Library, all while in residence at the Nazarene Theological College’s beautiful campus for six weeks.

The second fellowship is the 2017 John Rylands Research Institute-MWRC Joint Visiting Fellowship. This programme provides post-doctoral scholars, such as Dr David Bebbington, six weeks of accommodation at the Nazarene Theological College and a bursary of £150 to cover expenses while researching at the Methodist Archives and Research Centre at the John Rylands Library. Details are located at the John Rylands Research Institute webpage.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply. More information can be found here. All additional inquiries may be made to the MWRC Postgraduate Assistant at aparrish@nazarene.ac.uk

Congratulations to PhD Graduates

The MWRC would like to congratulate Junior Fellows who completed their doctorates at The University of Manchester/Nazarene Theological College during the 2015-16 academic year; in Wesley Studies: Klaus Arnold, Jim Coleman, Steve Johnson, and Mark Olson; and in Biblical Studies: James Romano and Linda Stargel. Click here for details about their work.

James Pedlar’s Reflections on his MWRC Visiting Fellowship

It was a privilege to spend six weeks at the Manchester Wesley Research Centre as a Visiting Research Fellow for the summer of 2016. My work focused on early Primitive Methodism. I am interested in the development of Wesleyan ecclesiology, especially as related to issues of renewal, unity, and division. The Primitive Methodists are of interest as the first major revivalistic breakaway from Wesleyan Methodism. I focused my time primarily on the unpublished and published writings of Hugh Bourne, co-founder of the Primitive Methodist Connexion. 

Bourne and the other Primitive Methodists were very keen to clear themselves of the charge of schism. In doing this they stressed both their continuity with early Methodism and the novelty of their movement as a body of newly-evangelized people. I am looking at the arguments Bourne used to defend against the charge of schism and the theology of the church that underlies those arguments. I am also considering the interesting mix of influences that can be seen in Bourne’s theology. As was the case with many later nineteenth-century Wesleyan revivalists, Bourne was strongly influenced by John Fletcher. But he was also shaped by his contacts with the Quaker Methodists of Warrington, the “Magic Methodists” of Delamere Forest and other Independent Methodists and revivalists. His spirituality had a strong pneumatocentric focus, leading to a very participatory and egalitarian view of church and ministry. Bourne is a fascinating and complicated person, who certainly had his faults. Yet he was also ahead of his time on questions of lay representation and women in ministry.

Some of Hugh Bourne’s writings are only available at the John Rylands Library, and those that are available elsewhere are still quite rare and difficult to find. I was very grateful for the opportunity to spend several weeks at the Rylands through the MWRC Visiting Fellow programme, as it gave me access to numerous sources that I would not have been able to find at home in Toronto. I also appreciated the many connections I was able to make with other scholars from the UK. At the MWRC and Nazarene Theological College I found a welcoming community and ideal base for doing research on the Wesleyan tradition.

Dr James Pedlar is Assistant Professor of Wesley Studies and Theology, Tyndale Seminary (Toronto). 

‘Archives are Underrated’: Priscilla Pope-Levison Reflects on Her Research as an MWRC Visiting Fellow

Archives are underrated by the general public. When I utter the word, archives, in polite conversation, there’s often an eye roll or an eyebrow-crinkling quizzical look. Archives, really? What’s an archive? Isn’t that a dark, dank, uninviting place? And for a vacation—really?!? Why not the beach or the mountains, or even a big city with lots to do and see? That’s the response I heard so often when I told people that for my summer vacation I was heading to the Manchester Wesley Research Centre (MWRC) at the Nazarene Theological College in Manchester, England, as a Visiting Fellow. And I’ve had a blast!

For archival enthusiasts like me—and you know who you are—the MWRC is a Methodist, archival treasure. In one room, you can find entire collections of Wesley works, the major journals in Methodism, like Wesleyan Theological Journal, Wesley and Methodist Studies, and Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society, significant secondary source works on the history of leading Methodist figures, and a rich collection representing the Wesleyan/Holiness movement in Britain and the USA. All of these books, journals, and pamphlets are within arm’s reach of each other, so the researcher can simply look over the titles, borrow them off the shelf, and read them in one of several adjoining study rooms.

There’s also the one-of-a-kind journal collection, carefully tended by the archivist, of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century organizations that comprised the British holiness movement, like the Pentecostal League of Prayer, the International Holiness Mission, and the Pentecostal Church of Scotland. These organizations focused on the Baptism of the Holy Ghost as a definite blessing received after conversion. I had never heard of any of these organizations before coming to the MWRC, but I ended up spending most of my time at the MWRC immersed in two decades of the Pentecostal League of Prayer’s journal, Tongues of Fire. Reader Harris (1847–1909) founded the League in 1891 in order “to spread Scriptural Holiness by unsectarian methods broadcast through this and other lands.” The grassroots emphasis of the League galvanized around forming prayer unions, or Centers, in which twelve or more people met weekly to pray for revitalization along holiness lines of individuals and churches.

What I found in terms of women’s involvement in the League astounded me. The League provided unparalleled opportunities for women in public ministry in late-nineteenth-century Britain. At every major conference and annual convention, at missions in churches, at holiness meetings, in short, at any public gathering sponsored by the League, women—and many of them—spoke to mixed audiences of men and women. In addition, more than a hundred women over the two decades served as Secretary of a League Centre, which required a quasi-pastoral role of spiritual oversight. Even more remarkable, because clergy and laity met together in the Centers, it would have been the case that female League Secretaries led Holiness and Prayer meetings where clergymen participated.

I’ve learned so much during these weeks of “vacation.” Archives are underrated!

Dr Priscilla-Pope Levison is Associate Dean for External Programs at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.

Andrew Kloes's Reflections on His Time as MWRC Post-doctoral Fellow

"I am very grateful to NTC and MWRC for the opportunities that I had during the past six months as a postdoctoral research fellow. Manchester was an exciting city to live in and the College’s student and faculty community was a warm and inviting place to be.

I enjoyed pursuing my research interests in the special collections of the John Rylands Library. While working there, Dr Peter Nockles directed me to a copy of John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes upon the New Testament that Augustus Montague Toplady thoroughly annotated while he was a student at Trinity College, Dublin. These extensive annotations provide new insights into the public theological debates that Toplady had over ten years later with Wesley as well as those that occurred between Calvinists and Arminians within the eighteenth-century Church of England, more generally. I am currently working on a journal article manuscript based on this previously unstudied source.

Additionally, I believe that I have also grown professionally during my time at the MWRC. I had opportunities to work as a research assistant to Professor Howard Snyder and Dr Geordan Hammond, give several guest lectures, supervise a master’s degree student’s directed study, and perform academic administrative work for the College.

A special highlight for me was organising the summer Methodist Heritage Tour to Gloucester and Bristol. This was a great time shared with PhD students and staff from the college, deepening friendships and learning more about the early Methodist movement by visiting significant historical sites."

Kelly Yates's reflections on her time as MWRC PG Assistant

"Over the course of the two years, I served as postgraduate assistant for the MWRC. My main responsibility was keeping the website updated. It was a privilege keeping in touch with MWRC Fellows around the world so I could keep their profiles up to date.

I also spent time organising and promoting the Annual Lecture and Colloquium; updating bibliographical information of our library; and assisting with the George Whitefield letters project that Geordan Hammond has been spearheading.

The experience with the MWRC provided me with opportunities to meet dozens of scholars from around the world in Wesley studies, theology, and biblical studies. Most of all I enjoyed working with two of the world’s leading Wesley scholars, Howard Snyder and Geordan Hammond."

Josh Bloor is New MWRC Postgraduate Assistant

On 1 September, Josh Bloor assumes his responsibilities as the MWRC Postgraduate Assistant. Josh, who resides in Manchester, is a doctoral student at University of Manchester/Nazarene Theological College, having earlier completed a masters degree at NTC. His doctoral research is in biblical studies and focuses on the book of Hebrews. Josh has already done some work for the MWRC, having produced the current MWRC brochure.

Josh succeeds Kelly Yates, PhD student at NTC currently completing the final draft of her thesis. Kelly has served as PG Assistant for the past two years, helping with many details including maintaining the MWRC website. She has served with distinction, and the MWRC is pleased to have someone equally qualified to pick up the many MWRC administrative details that Kelly handled so well.

More information about Josh is found on the MWRC website:/joshua-d-a-bloor/

Methodist Heritage Tour 22-23 June 2016

The MWRC led a Methodist Heritage Tour in Gloucester, Stroud, and Bristol on 22-23 June. Dr Andrew Kloes, postdoctoral fellow, organized the trip. Lectures were given by Dr Geordan Hammond and Dr Kloes on John Wesley and George Whitefield's travels and connections to the places visited. Highlights of the tour included visiting Gloucester Cathedral where George Whitefield was ordained, the Inn where Whitefield was born, and the church where Whitefield preached his first sermon. The seventeen tour participants at Gloucester Cathedral

Prof Kenneth J. Collins gives 2016 Annual Lecture

Dr Ken Collins gave the MWRC annual lecture today at the Nazarene Theological College, Manchester, Chapel. His lecture, 'The Method of John Wesley's Practical Theology Reconsidered' covered themes such as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral reconfigured and the style of Wesley's theological method. Over sixty faculty, students, and friends of the MWRC attended. To see the video of the lecture, click here 

Prof Kenneth J. Collins to speak at MWRC Annual Lecture 14 June 2016

The 2016 lecture will be given by Professor Kenneth J. Collins on Tuesday 14 June at 5:00 PM at J.B. Maclagan Chapel Nazarene Theological College, Dene Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2GU.

The title of his lecture is: 'The Method of John Wesley's Practical Theology Reconsidered'. 

Poster for the Event

This lecture is free and open to the public.

It will be streamed online at: www.livestream.com/ntcmanchester.

Sponsored by the Church of the Nazarene’s International Board of Education.

Invitation to a Celebration of the Work of Dr Henry Rack

You are invited to John Rylands Library, Manchester, for a celebration of the work of Dr Henry Rack, 23 June 2016, 5:00 - 7:00 PM

There will be a time of reflection, discussion, and reception.

In addition there will be a discussion by international scholars on the essays presented in Perfecting Perfection, a a recently published festschrift volume honouring Dr Rack. For more information, click here

Please R.S.V.P 

Dr Peter Nockles

peter.nockles@manchester.ac.uk or

Dr Robert Webster

rjwebster1738@gmail.com

We have a new brochure!

You can view our new brochure here. Please feel free to print and distrubute as needed.  

A special thanks to Joshua Bloor for designing it. 

Introducing Andrew Kloes, Postdoctoral Fellow

Andrew is the post-doctoral research and teaching fellow at the Manchester Wesley Research Centre.

In January 2016, he successfully defended his doctoral thesis at the University of Edinburgh, where it was examined by Emeritus Professor Hartmut Lehmann (Göttingen and Kiel) and Dr Thomas Ahnert (Edinburgh). His thesis examines the ‘Awakening movement’ (Erweckungsbewegung) in German Protestantism during the Vormärz period (1815-48) in German history. This religious movement was the last nationwide Protestant reform and revival movement to occur in Germany. His thesis interprets the ‘Awakening movement’ as a product of the larger social changes that were re-shaping German society during this time. Theologically, Awakened Protestants were traditionalists. They affirmed religious doctrines that orthodox Protestants had professed since the confessional statements of the Reformation-era. However, Awakened Protestants were also distinctly modern. Their efforts to spread their religious beliefs were successful because of the new political freedoms and economic opportunities that emerged in the early nineteenth century. These social conditions gave members of the emerging German middle class new means and abilities to pursue their religious goals. Adapting Protestantism to modern society in these ways was the most original and innovative aspect of the Awakening movement. More broadly, his doctoral research examined how Europe’s transition to modernity affected the religious beliefs and activities of Protestant communities in Germany, Britain, and the Netherlands during the period from 1750 to 1850. 

His research project at the MWRC examines how John Wesley's lifelong reading of German Protestant theological texts (Luther, Arndt, Böhme, Francke and the Halle Pietists, Terstegen, Zinzendorf and the Moravians, Bengel) shaped his preaching, teaching, and writing for early Methodists. By using the special collections at the MWRC and in the John Rylands Library, his research will provide a systematic analysis of these figures' influence on Wesley as well as his interpretation and mediation of them to the wider Methodist movement.

He is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylania and is a graduate of Grove City College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Most recently, he has been a member of Saint Columba's Free Church of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Publications

‘Dissembling Orthodoxy in the Age of the Enlightenment: Frederick the Great and his Confession of Faith’, Harvard Theological Review, 109 (2016), 102-128.

'German Protestants' receptions and interpretations of George Whitefield, 1739-1857’, Wesley and Methodist Studies, (forthcoming 2016).

 ‘The Enlightenment in the Historical Imagination of Evangelical and Awakened Protestants in Europe, Britain, and North America, c. 1750-1850’, Religion in the Age of Enlightenment, 6 (forthcoming in 2016).

‘European Revivals and the History of Evangelicalism: Moving Beyond the Anglo-American Paradigm’, Fides et Historia, 47 (2015), 1-18.

‘The Committee for the Relief of Distress in Germany: A Case Study of Cooperation and Solidarity between British Evangelicals and German Pietists during the Napoleonic Era’, Pietismus und NeuzeitEin Jahrbuch zur Geschichte des neueren Protestantismus, 40 (2014), 163-201.

‘The Religious Landscape of German-speaking Europe and Four Calls for Religious Reforms on the Eve of the German Awakening: Johann August Urlsperger (1780), Emperor Joseph II of Austria (1781), Immanuel Kant (1784), and King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia (1788)’, European Journal of the Theology, 21 (2012), 148-155.

2016 Drysdale Lecture by Prof. Howard A. Snyder, visiting director


Professor Howard A. Snyder, currently serving as Visiting Director of the Manchester Wesley Research Centre, will be giving the annual Drysdale Lecture at Nazarene Theological College, Manchester, 1 February 2016 at 7:30 PM. 

The title of the lecture is 'Christian Mission, Creation, and New Creation'.

The lecture is free and open to the public. 

It will be livestreamed at www.livestream.com/ntcmanchester.

Nazarene Theological College, Dene Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2GU.

Tel: 0161-445-3063.

 

Video Recordings from the Methodist Studies Seminar

Video recordings of about 4 1/2 of the 6 presentations from the Methodist Studies Seminar from 5 December are available at: http://original.livestream.com/ntcmanchester

Note: Dr Julie Lunn's presentation wasn't recorded, and the first half of Prof Michael Nausner's presentation wasn't video recorded. However, we have an audio recording of all of Michael Nausner's presentation, which has been uploaded at: http://www.mwrc.ac.uk/methodist-studies-seminars/ The speaking in the first video (Introduction and Mark Olson) doesn't start until about 10 minutes in.