In a Divided World, Methodism Matters

Harold J. Recinos

in The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199696116
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

In a Divided World, Methodism Matters


This article addresses the politics of race and racist nationalism in the context of the United States. First, it examines salient features of the politics of race in North Atlantic and American society and its impact on persons of colour. Second, it suggests that John Wesley's practical Christianity provides Methodism with the resources for denouncing the social injustices legitimated by oppositional neo-nationalist and neo-racist ideology, which aims to take away the rights of the undeserving and excludable other. Wesley would reject distorted theologies that construe God as unwelcoming to the trampled poor and having Christians act antagonistically to ‘foreigners’. The article concludes by offering a Christian narrative framework for building life together drawn from the story of the Good Samaritan.

Keywords: Methodists; politics of race; racist nationalism; John Wesley; Christianity; social injustice

Article.  7653 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Christianity

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