Conference clergy member authors/edits new book on Methodism

Charles Yrigoyen, a retired clergy member of The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, is editor/author of a new book published in England entitled The T & T Clark Companion to Methodism. It is due for release in July.  The book is large (600 pages), and it contains essays, an encyclopedia section, and a selected bibliography.  The Rev. Dr. Yrigoyen  and another retired EPA clergy member, the Rev. Dr. John G. McEllhenney, wrote 160 short articles for the book. Also included  are twenty-one essays on various topics related to Methodist history, theology, and mission. The book was nearly three years in the writing after T & T Clark International, the publisher, called upon Dr. Yrigoyen to author/edit the book.

Left: The Rev. Dr. Charles Yrigoyen, Jr.

The Rev. Dr. Charles Yrigoyen, Jr. is serving as Director of United Methodist Studies at Lancaster Theological Seminary.  Previously he served as General Secretary of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History (1982-2006), as editor of Methodist History, as a General and Jurisdictional Conference delegate (1980-2008), and as an instructor in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Local Pastor’s School.  He has authored ten books on Methodism, including United Methodism at Forty: Looking Back, Looking Forward, co-authored with EPA clergy, Kenneth E. Rowe and John G. McEllhenney.

About T & T Clark Companion to Methodism

            John and Charles Wesley – Oxford University graduates, Church of England clergy, failed missionaries to the American colony of Georgia, whose lives were forever transformed in May 1738 –  never dreamed of the success that would bless the 18th-century Methodist movement in which they were primary leaders.

More than two hundred fifty years later Methodism has spread to every continent including more than 130 nations.  It numbers approximately 40 million members and has given birth to a number of denominations as widely different as the United Methodist Church, the Salvation Army, and a host of Pentecostal churches.

The T & T Clark Companion to Methodism, edited by Charles Yrigoyen, Jr., recently published in England, is the latest book which recounts the origins and development of world Methodism.  It  assesses the present state of Methodist historical, theological, and missional studies and suggests areas for continuing research.

A sizable book of more than 600 pages, it is divided into three parts.

Part I, the largest section of the volume, is a collection of twenty-one essays by a notable corps of international (African, Asian, British, Latin American, and United States) Methodist historians, theologians, and church leaders.

Essays in Part I explore (1) the ministry, theology, and legacy of the Wesley brothers; (2) the expansion and development of Methodism in various parts of the world; (3) main themes of Methodist life and ministry (evangelism, worship, sacraments, spirituality, social reform, polity, ecumenical relationships, art and architecture; and (4) the locations of the principal collections of Methodism’s historical documents.  Each essay closes with brief suggestions for further reading.

Part II, titled “Methodism A to Z,” includes an assembly of 160 shorter encyclopedic-type articles written by EPA clergy John G. McEllhenney and Chuck Yrigoyen on important Methodist theological themes denominations, geographical areas, and personalities.  Recommendations for additional information are appended to every article.

Part III is an eighteen-page bibliography which lists important published sources of information on the themes treated in the book.

Those interested in our history and theology will find the book of special interest.  One commentator has said that it is “a veritable cornucopia, overflowing with the ripe fruits of recent scholarship.”  The publisher is T & T Clark International.  The book’s list price is $150.  It may be ordered through Cokesbury or Amazon.