John W. Wright, Ph.D, Formerly Professor of Theology and Christian Scriptures, Point Loma Nazarene University.
Dr Wright described his research as follows: My research program at the Manchester Wesley Research Centre involved two phases: (1) the investigation of John Wesley’s relationship to the Augustinian theological tradition as mediated by late 17th and early 18th century Anglican texts; and (2) trips to various libraries in England and Ireland to examine pre-Constantinian biblical manuscripts. With the resources of the MWRC, both library and the expertise of especially Geordan Hammond and Tom Noble, I was able (1) to document the consistency of an Augustinian framework for Wesley’s thought through his 'public' life; (2) to find an immediate source of this framework in the works of the Non-juror, William Law; and (3) to find a commensurate thought in the more directly Augustinian work of John Norris of Bemerton. I was able to correlate the precisely known interaction of Wesley with these texts at the times of their introduction into his own textual production, and place Wesley within the broader framework of the 'long eighteenth century' of recently revisionist English history. Dr Wright continued this research with a second visit in May 2013. His article ‘“Use” and “Enjoy” in John Wesley: John Wesley’s Participation within the Augustinian Tradition’ based on this research was published in Wesley and Methodist Studies 6 (2014).
The second phase enabled me to investigate the materiality of early Christian biblical texts, particularly OT texts, at the John Rylands Library, Chester Beatty Museum in Dublin, Ireland; the University of Cambridge Library and the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the Oxyrhnchus research center at Oxford, and the British Library in London. Dr Dwight Swanson of NTC accompanied me to investigate and discuss the significance of these manuscripts, particularly focusing on the third century AD. Patterns began emerging that indicate that what became the 'OT' were copied in a more consistent, formal hand than the 'apostolic writings' of various epistle and gospel codices.