“THY GRACE RESTORE, THY WORK REVIVE”:
Revival, Reform, and Revolution in Global Methodism
August 12–19, 2018
Pembroke College, Oxford
Methodism began as a renewal movement within the Church of England, but as it has developed into a global movement it has had various effects on both church and society at large. Today, many Methodists are giving witness to what they believe are the signs and fruits of genuine spiritual and social revival and renewal. In other contexts, Methodists are lamenting what they perceive is a decline in the church’s vitality and influence, leading to various calls for the reform or even radical change of denominational structures, institutions of theological education, local congregational ministries, and missional focus. The Fourteenth Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies will explore Wesleyan understandings of revival and renewal from biblical, historical, theological and other perspectives in order critically to engage the disparate contemporary responses to the question, “And Are We Yet Alive?” Questions to be explored might include:
- In what ways is Methodism part of great renewal movements in the Christian tradition, such as the Protestant Reformation?
- What are the authentic marks of Christian revival and renewal?
- How have Wesleyan/Methodist Christians participated in – or hindered – prior movements affecting personal holiness, congregational vitality, ecclesial effectiveness, and social transformation?
- Are current proposals for ecclesial change faithful to the salvific mission of God in Jesus Christ?
- Does Methodism have a future? If so, what might its shape(s) be?