Religion in the Age of Enlightenment


Religion in the Age of Enlightenment, review, John Wesley


Attempts to analyze John Wesley seriously will sooner or later (probably sooner) result in growing perplexity in the minds of the analysts. There are two main reasons for their consternation. First, difficulties naturally arise from trying to understand a person who was a major national figure during much of his life over two centuries ago. Wesley's was a long life marked by growth, development, change, arguments against opponents from all sides (in different ways at different times and places), and his status as legend in his own day-a reputation that was, in part, of his own doing. Second, the variety of interpretations developed by scholars during the last two centuries present a wide spectrum of views of the man, which tend to reflect the diversity of the authors' views more than the tensions in Wesley's own thought and thus unfold a confusing array of opinions about Wesley.