Where should John Wesley be located on the political spectrum? As a fanatical Tory, politically conservative in his fidelity to the British monarchy, advocation of taxation without representation, and opposition to the American Revolution or as an emerging proponent of political liberalism in his condemnation of slavery, defense of individual rights and liberties, and support of government aid to combat social problems like poverty and hunger? Weber argues for a much more nuanced reading of Wesley's political thought, which labels Wesley as an "organic constitutionalist," standing in the same political tradition as Richard Hooker and Edmund Burke. Weber's historical and theological study also turns constructive, as he challenges Wesley's antidemocratic and antirepublican sentiments by employing Wesley's "political image of God" within the larger context of the ordo salutis (order of salvation). A superb contribution to Wesleyan studies, with implications reaching into the fields of theology, political theory, and social ethics. Weber is Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics at Candler School of Theology, Emory University.
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