Synopses & Reviews
As E. Brooks Holifield notes in his introduction, ""John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, would have relished the opportunity to write this volume. He recognized the power of religious traditions, and he thought that issues of health and medicine were profoundly interwoven into the texture of religious faith. All ten themes that have concerned this series] - healing and well-being, suffering and madness, passages and sexuality, dying and caring, morality and dignity - were among the topics that Wesley believed should interest Christians."" In the attempt to show how a Wesleyan understanding of theology might inform a modern Methodist sensibility, the author has structured his treatment of Health and Medicine in the Methodist Tradition around the polarities of health and healing, holiness and happiness, penalty and promise, love and law, restraint and responsibility, and possibility and limit. These are not to be construed as opposites or as mutually exclusive extremes. Each member of each pair both checks and enriches the other. They provide a way of establishing boundaries; they mark the way of a journey - ""the way of salvation,"" or the way of love. ""Holifield's erudition and graceful writing are on full display in this concise history of the quest for spiritual and physical health in the Wesleyan tradition. With deft strokes, Holifield draws readers into a story that is at once far away and close at hand."" --Grant Wacker, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor, Emeritus of Christian History, Duke Divinity School ""Engaging, readable, creative, insightful, and instructive probing of the array of today's medical and health-related issues--some now highly controversial--and of Methodism's struggle to find balanced commitments and policy. Brooks Holifield finds John Wesley and his daughters and sons to have lived with only partially formulated dialectical or balanced counsel. He educates Methodists (and others) on what they believe."" --Russell E. Richey, Dean Emeritus, Candler School of Theology ""Brooks Holifield's consideration of health and medicine in Methodism couldn't be more timely. He shows how Wesley's stress on love as the central Christian virtue prompted Methodists to provide health care as an essential part of their ministries, and he incisively interprets the debates that have marked Wesleyan conversations. As he so clearly reveals, following the way of love in the Wesleyan tradition has never been simple. Given the fierce antagonisms in today's debates about health care, this book is an absolute must read."" --Valarie Ziegler, Professor of Religious Studies, DePauw University Brooks Holifield has masterfully crafted a work of brilliant scholarship that is accessible for pastors and congregations alike.Health and Medicine in the Methodist Traditionis an essential tool for churches seeking a serious yet engaging study of Wesleyan theology and a thoughtful perspective on important ethical issues at a time when the Church needs to reclaim the values of a holistic and hopeful expression of the Christian faith. --Rev. Barbara Clark, Pastor, Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church E. Brooks Holifield is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of American Church History, emeritus, at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University. He is a past president of the American Society of Church History and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has published widely on topics in American religion, and his Theology in America was a prize-winning contribution to the history of American religious thought.