Perfecting Perfection: Essays in Honour of Henry D. Rack

By Robert Webster (editor)

Essays honouring the work of British historian of Methodism Henry D. Rack, offering a varied and erudite introduction to the field of Methodist Studies.

ISBN: 9780227175880


Henry D. Rack is one of the most profound historians of the Methodist movement in modern times. He has spent a lifetime researching and writing about the rise and significance of John Wesley and his Methodist followers in the eighteenth century and has also uncovered the historical significance of the Methodist Church in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Collected in Perfecting Perfection are thirteen essays honouring the life and scholarship of Dr Rack from a host of international scholars in the field. The topics range from Wesley’s view of grace in the eighteenth century to the dynamic intersection of the Methodist and Tractarian movements in the nineteenth century. Ultimately, the collection of essays offered here in honour of Dr Rack will be engaging and provocative to those considering Methodist Studies in the present and future generations.

Additional information

Dimensions229 × 153 mm


Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Robert Webster is currently Senior Minister in the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church and recently Professor of Methodist History and Theology at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He is the author of Methodism and the Miraculous. In addition to publishing new articles in the field of Methodist Studies, he has also co-edited a special issue of the Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester devoted to the life of Charles Wesley.



     Robert Webster

1. From Arminius (d. 1609) to the Synod of Dort (1618-1619)
     W. Stephen Gunter
2. Robert Barnes and John Wesley’s Reformation Heritage
     David Lowes Watson
3. The Exercise of the Presence of God: Holy Conferencing as a Means of Grace
     Richard P. Heitzenrater
4. Perfecting Plain Truth for Plain People: John Wesley’s Sermons
     Patrick Streiff
5. Mission Spirituality in the Early Methodist Preachers
     Philip R. Meadows
6. Medicine on Demand: John Wesley’s Enlightened Treatment of the Sick
     Deborah Madden
7. Wesley’s Invisible World: Witchcraft and the Temperature of Preternatural Belief
     Owen Davies
8. John Wesley and Francis Asbury
     John Wigger
9. Echoes of Wesley on the US Southwestern Frontier: The Autobiography of William Stevenson
     Ted A. Campbell
10. “Did God Do That?”: Common and Separating Factors of Eighteenth-Century Methodism and Contemporary Pentecostal and Charismatic Renewal
     Robert Webster
11. The Oxford Movement and Evangelicalism: Parallels and Contrasts in Two Nineteenth-Century Movements of Religious Revival
     Peter B. Nockles
12. From The Soul of Dominic Wildthorne to the Wesleyan Guild of Divine Service: Some Methodist Responses to Anglo-Catholicism in Victorian and Edwardian England
     Martin Wellings
13. Bibliography of the Principal Published Writings of Henry Denman Rack
     Clive D. Field



Endorsements and Reviews

This is an outstanding collection of essays that is indispensable reading for all students of Methodism and the Wesleyan tradition. Many of the essays break new ground for future research; all of them are a pleasure to ponder.
William J. Abraham, Outler Professor of Wesley Studies, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

It is so fitting that the leading British Methodist historian, Henry Rack, is being honoured in this eminently readable volume that includes contributions from such key American voices as Heitzenrater, Campbell, Wigger, and Watson. Broad in scope, and yet remarkably balanced in its overall composition, this collection of essays makes a splendid and engaging contribution to the field.
Kenneth J. Collins, Professor of Historical Theology and Wesley Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary

Unlike some Festschriften this is a valuable (and reasonably priced) collection which is considerably more than the sum of its parts, and a suitable tribute to an outstanding scholar.
G.M. Ditchfield, in The English Historical Review, Vol 133, Issue 560

Perfecting Perfection is a fitting tribute to the author of such a considerable and influential output.
Robert Schofield, in Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol 68, Issue 4

This book is a fine tribute to an outstanding scholar, but also a useful introduction to themes and approaches in modern methodist historiography.
Jeremy Morris, in Theology, Vol 121, No 3