June 13, 2007

Methodism in Wales

Methodism emerged from Pietism, Moravianism and the Puritan tradition. The eighteenth century Evangelical Revival is sometimes called the Methodist Revival and the term emerges out of a contemptuous term used to describe the ‘Holy Club’ surrounding Wesley in Oxford. However, Methodism began to develop in Wales before the Wesley conversion through the figures of Howel Harris and Daniel Rowland. The result was a network of religious organisations led by ‘an exhorter’ (“Methodism”).

Methodism also refers to ‘the theological emphasis and moral self-discipline which developed in Methodist bodies and in Wales especially, among the Calvinistic Methodists’ (“Methodism”). Calvinistic Methodists in Wales broke away from the Church of England in 1811 basing their theology on ‘the sovereignty of God and his grace in Christ and the election of the saints’ (“Methodism”). Methodism is now established as the Presbyterian Church of Wales or Yr Hen Gorff and the sect has succeeded particularly in the north of Wales, where as Independency and Baptism has dominated the south. Writers of Wales inspired by Methodism include William Williams, Ann Griffiths, Lewis Edwards, Islwyn, Daniel Owen, Robert Ambrose Jones, Gwenallt and Kate Roberts.

“Methodism”. The Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales. Ed. Meic Stephens. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986.

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