Women in eighteenth-century Methodism
in Women and the shaping of British Methodism
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This chapter provides essential background for those unfamiliar with the histories of British Nonconformity and Wesleyan Methodism in the eighteenth century. It briefly describes female preaching in the seventeenth-century Civil War period, the Clarendon Code and the creation of Nonconformity in the Restoration, and the conditions favouring the emergence of Methodism. After outlining Methodism's early years and describing its organization, the chapter suggests its attractions for women and the unique opportunities Methodism offered for female religious leadership. Finally, the chapter deals with Wesley's eventual recognition of some women's exceptional call to preach, and how one of the female preachers, Mary Bosanquet, justified female evangelism.

Women and the shaping of British Methodism

Persistent preachers, 1807–1907

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