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A Professed Christian Faith

This would appear to owe something to its origins in the British middle classes of the eighteenth century. Methodism emerged in 1739 out of reformist sentiment in the Anglican Church, which was itself at the center of the Protestant Reformation. The official Catholic view of Methodism is that its founder, an "evangelical Anglican" (Tucker 8) named John Wesley, "considered religion primarily as practical, not dogmatic" (Weber), and institutionalized the faith on a much smaller scale than either the Catholic Church of the Church of England. Indeed, given the evidence of the spareness of liturgy compared to Catholic religious practice, it might be said that Wesley in a very broad sense sought to lay less emphasis on the institutional character of religion, or more exactly infuse Anglicanism with enhanced spiritual sensibility.

There is a view that Methodism is "the quintessential American denomination" (Tucker 8), inasmuch as its institutional character evolved coeval with the new nation of the late eighteenth century. Tucker (9) cites the creation "in 1784 of the Methodist Episcopal Church that marked the beginning of Methodism's transition from a society within the Church of England to a separate denomination." That would be consistent with the fact that the Treaty of Paris of 1783 formally closed the Revolutionary War. In its purely American identity, Methodism underwent many reconfigurations after 1784, some of them having to do with racial segregation of denominations. The United Methodist Church, which is the mainstream arm of the faith, was created in 1968, when the Methodist Church formally merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church (Tucker 13).

Contemporary Methodism is organized and understood to be in the mainstream of liberal Protestant Christianity. It is to be distinguished from fundamentalist Christianity, which reflects a more socially conservative view of religion, and which "incorporate[s] revivalism, scriptu...

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A Professed Christian Faith. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 15:21, November 25, 2015, from
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