Methodist Theologians of the 19th Century

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This article is incomplete as part of an ongoing research project. It may be edited by the author at any time.

List of 19th-Century Theologians

  • Nathan Bangs
  • William McKendree Bangs
  • Henry Bidleman Bascoms
  • Joseph Agar Beet
  • Charles Wesley Bennett
  • Joseph Bensonb
  • Henry Flesher Bland 
  • Albert Bledsoe
  • J. M. Bolands
  • Beverly Waugh Bonds (1843-1920)
  • S. L. Bowman
  • Borden Parker Bowne
  • Jabez Buntingb
  • Nathaniel Burwash (1839-1918)
  • Merritt Caldwell
  • John Carroll
  • Davis Wasgatt Clark
  • Adam Clarkeb
  • Benjamin Franklin Cocker
  • Silas Comfort
  • Daniel Curry
  • Olin A. Curtis
  • John Dempster
  • Wilbur Fisk (1792-1839)
  • Randolph Sinks Foster
  • Garrettson, Freeborn
  • Gaussen
  • Henry Harman
  • Gilbert Haven
  • ???? Hemenway (cf. Whedon’s OT comm.)
  • Freeborn Garretson Hibbard
  • Francis B. Hodgson (1805-1877)
  • Hilary T. Hudson
  • Hugh Price Hughes
  • John Fletcher Hurst
  • Thomas Jacksonb
  • David C. Kelleys
  • Jesse Lee (1758-1816)
  • Luther Lee
  • Asbury Lowry
  • Lorenzo Dow McCabeb
  • John McClintock
  • Enoch Mather Marvin
  • James William Mendenhall
  • Timothy Merritt
  • John Miley
  • Thomas Benjamin Neely
  • Fales Henry Newhall
  • Stephen Olin
  • Phoebe Palmer
  • George Peck
  • Jesse T. Peck
  • William Burt Popeb
  • Joseph Pullman
  • Thomas Neely Ralstons
  • Marshall Randles
  • Miner Raymond
  • Charles Wesley Rishell
  • Henry C. Sheldon
  • Asa Shinn
  • Matthew Simpson
  • George Smiths
  • Daniel Steele
  • Abel Stevens
  • John Alfred Story
  • Thomas Osmond Summerss (1812-1882)
  • La Roy Sunderland
  • Alexander Sutherland (1833-1910)
  • Milton S. Terry
  • John J. Tigerts
  • Wilbur Fisk Tilletts
  • Luther Tracy Townsend
  • Samuel Wakefield
  • William Fairfield Warren
  • Richard Watsonb (1781-1833)
  • Daniel Denison Whedon
  • George Washington Wilson
  • Alexander Winchell

Schools of Theological Thought

British Theologians

  • Jabez Bunting
  • Joseph Benson
  • Adam Clarke
  • Richard Watson
  • Thomas Jackson
  • John Shaw Banks
  • William Burt Pope
  • Lorenzo Dow McCabe

Southern Methodists

  • Thomas Summers
  • Albert Bledsoe
  • Wilbur Fisk Tillett
  • Thomas Ralston
  • George Smith
  • J.M. Boland
  • Henry B. Bascom
  • Beverly Waugh Bond
  • David C. Kelley
  • John J. Tigert

Theological Editors

  • Timothy Merritt
  • George Story
  • Nathan Bangs
  • John Emory
  • George Peck
  • Daniel D. Whedon
  • Daniel Curry

Frontiersmen

  • Francis Asbury
  • Freeborn Garrettson
  • Asa Shinn

Abolitionists

  • Luther Lee
  • Matthew Simpson

The Garrett School

  • Miner Raymond
  • Milton Terry
  • Charles Little

The Drew School

  • John Miley
  • Randolph S. Foster
  • John McClintock
  • Olin Curtis
  • Edwin Lewis

The Boston School

  • William F. Warren
  • Borden Parker Bowne

The Wesleyan U School

  • Nathan Bangs
  • Wilbur Fisk
  • Stephen Olin

The Holiness Movement

  • Timothy Merritt
  • Phoebe Palmer
  • Daniel Steele
  • George Peck
  • Joseph Agar Beet
  • J. A. Wood

Canadian Theologians

  • Nathaniel Burwash
  • Henry Bland

Major Theologians

Only six theologians meet all five criteria and may be called the major theologians of 19th century Methodism. They include three British theologians—Richard Watson (1781-1833), Adam Clarke (1760-1832), and William Burt Pope (1822-1903)—and three American theologians—John Miley, Daniel D. Whedon, and Randolph S. Foster. 

Those who meet four of the five criteria: 

Those who meet three of the five criteria: 

Each theologian on this list must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Recognition among peers and historians as having contributed significantly to Methodist thought and life; 
  2. Published multiple volumes contributing to Methodist thought and life; 
  3. Inclusion of written material in the Conference Course of Study;
  4. Re-publication of most significant work(s) though no magnum opus is necessary;
  5. A biography or Ph.D. dissertation has been written or the author’s works have been collected and published. 
  6. Searchable archives of original documents.

Consequently, the headings will appear as follows:

  1. Biography & Significance
  2. Recognition among Peers and Historians
  3. Literary Contributions to Methodist Thought and Life
  4. Inclusion in the Course of Study
  5. Reprinted Publications
  6. Collected Writings and Secondary Literature
  7. Archival Information
  8. Recommendations for Research

Overall, these criteria are in order from the most likely to least likely. The following meet at least one of the given criteria (s = MEC, South; b=British):

A Brief History of the Nineteenth Century

Timeline

  • 1791 Death of John Wesley
  • 1801 Thomas Jefferson becomes the third president of the United States
  • 1801 Ireland and Britain merge to become the United Kingdom
  • 1803 The United States acquires land from the French in the Louisiana Purchase
  • 1804-1813 Russian-Persian War
  • 1804 Napoleon becomes Emperor of France
  • 1804 Steam locomotion begins
  • 1812-1815 War between Britain and the United States
  • 1812 Napoleon and his French Army invade Russia and are defeated
  • 1814 Paris is conquered by the Russians and Prussians. 
  • 1848 French Revolution

Narrative

David Fry
Senior Pastor at the Frankfort Bible Holiness Church. PhD in Systematic Theology (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School). MDiv in New Testament Theology (Wesley Biblical Seminary).