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Pursuing Social HolinessThe Band Meeting in Wesley's Thought and Popular Methodist Practice$
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Kevin M. Watson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199336364

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199336364.001.0001

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Early Popular Methodist Experience of the Band Meeting

Early Popular Methodist Experience of the Band Meeting

(p.99) 4 Early Popular Methodist Experience of the Band Meeting
Pursuing Social Holiness

Kevin M. Watson

Oxford University Press

This chapter turns from Wesley’s theology to the popular practice of the band meeting from 1738 through the mid-1760s. The chapter considers the extent to which Wesley’s conception of the bands was practiced in Methodism during this period. The chapter is divided into two chronological periods: the period prior to the advent of the class meeting (1738-1742) and the first two decades after class meetings became a mandatory weekly meeting for Methodists (1743-ca. 1765). These two periods are similarly organized. First, the organization and conduct of band meetings is described. Then, the extent to which Methodists searched for assurance and pursued holiness together in bands is considered, as well as the degree to which they reinforced the necessity of a disciplined practice of the means of grace. It is generally argued that Wesley’s conception of the band meeting was largely practiced at the popular level of early Methodism.

Keywords:   Band meeting, class meeting, holiness, means of grace, Methodism, popular practice

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