The Quest for Love Divine: Select Essays in Wesleyan Theology and Practice

By Paul W. Chilcote

Chilcote discusses the impact of John Wesley and early women preachers on the development of Methodist thought and worship.

ISBN: 9780718897635


John Wesley’s impact on Methodist theology and practice is well established, but there are many other early figures who shaped Methodism just as thoroughly. Quest for Love Divine explores the contributions of Charles Wesley by exploring the impact of his lyrics on methodist worship, and the importance of lyrical theology in the founding of Methodism. Chilcote also examines the contributions of early Methodist women such as Dorothy Fisher, Mary Taft and Sarah Crosby, exploring how the Wesley brothers and their community sought to inhabit ‘faith working by love leading to holiness of heart and life’.

In his collection of essays, Chilcote explores the salient themes of Wesleyan theology and practice, and reflects on its legacy, in the Wesley’s time and in ours. By focussing on the nature of their discipleship and the centrality of ‘love divine’, Chilcote brings Wesleyan theology into sharp and practical focus.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 152 mm
Pages 378

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Paul W. Chilcote served as Director of the Centre for Global Wesleyan Theology at Wesley House, Cambridge from 2021-22. Since being awarded his PhD in Historical Theology from Duke University in 1984, his interest in John Wesley and early women preachers and their theology has been the focus of his extensive list of publications.


Foreword by Randy L. Maddox

Part 1: Charles Wesley’s Lyrical Theology
1. Charles Wesley’s Lyrical Credo
2. Charles Wesley and the Language of Faith
3. “All the Image of Thy Love”: Charles Wesley’s Vision of the One Thing Needful
Part 2: John And Charles Wesely’s Practical Divinity
Rethinking the Wesleyan Quadrilateral
5. “Practical Christology” in John and Charles Wesley
6. John and Charles Wesley on “God in Christ Reconciling”
Part 3: Early Methodist Women
Biblical Equality and the Spirituality of Early Methodist Women
8. An Early Methodist Community of Women
9. Sanctification as Lived by Women in Early Methodism
Part 4: Wesleyan Spiritual Practices
Spirituality in the Weselyan Tradition
11. Charles Wesely and Christian Practices
12. A Faith That Sings: The Renewing Power of Lyrical Theology
Part 5: Worship, Sacraments, and Leadership
John and Charles Wesley’s Theology of the Sacraments
14. The Integral Nature of Worship and Evangelism: Insights from the Wesleyan Tradition
15. “Claim Me for Thy Service”: Charles Wesley’s Vision of Servant Vocation
Part 6: Missional Ecclesiology and God’s Rule
The Mission-Church Paradigm of the Wesleyan Revival
17. Lessons from the “Society Planting” Paradigm of Early Methodist Women
18. Charles Wesley and the “Peaceable Reign” of Christ

Appendix A: A World Methodist Affirmation
Appendix B: A Progressive Wesleyan Declaration


Endorsements and Reviews

Chilcote argues that what the world most needs are disciples of Jesus who are ‘transcripts of the divine’ – authentic witnesses to the love and grace of God. This anthology not only exegetes the faith and practice of Charles and John Wesley and of selected early Methodist women, it invites us to allow ourselves to be re-centred by that same love which yearns for the restoration of all things.Jane Leach, Wesley House, Cambridge

The theology and legacy of John and Charles Wesley is more than just rich academic discussion. It is at heart a transformative experience of worship, mission, and love. Paul Chilcote… illuminates and lives this experience in this outstanding collection of essays. David Wilkinson, St John’s College, Durham University

Chilcote’s collection is a very welcome addition to resources available to Wesleyan scholars eager to explore his insights in the lyrical theology, worship, and spirituality of the people called Methodists. It will greatly help historians and people of faith in the task of understanding and practicing the quest for Christian perfection espoused by the Wesleys. Tim Macquiban, Wesley Historical Society

Paul Chilcote is one of the greatest scholars of the Wesleyan movement in his generation. His essays illumine the wisdom, beauty, spirit, and depth of the Wesleyan tradition and show how Methodist theology and practices cohere in a seamless whole. This fine volume makes me proud to be a Wesleyan. I recommend it highly. Dana L. Robert, Boston University School of Theology

Chilcote has the special talent to develop central themes of Methodist theology in a biblically grounded, historically rooted, theologically reflected, ecumenically open, and personally evocative way… This selection of important essays vividly demonstrates the comprehensive love of God, the liberty of faith in a holy life, and the participation in God’s mission. Ulrike Schuler, Reutlingen School of Theology

This volume contains previously unpublished, or hard to find, public lectures, essays, and addresses, as well as some of Chilcote’s most significant and influential work spanning a period of forty years… I highly recommend this book for anyone with an interest in Methodist history, Wesleyan theology and spirituality, and missional practice. Dion A. Forster, University of Stellenbosch