Academic journal article The Hymn

Charles Wesley's Hymns: "Prints" and Practices of Love Divine

Academic journal article The Hymn

Charles Wesley's Hymns: "Prints" and Practices of Love Divine

Article excerpt

Charles Wesley's Hymns: "Prints" and Practices of Love Divine edited by Maxine Walker. San Diego: Point Loma Press, 2007. 99 pages + CD. ISBN 0-9754729-7-6. US $15.00.

This small book grows out of a conference at the Wesleyan Center for Twenty-First Century Studies at Point Lorna Nazarene University. A majority of the authors are weU-estabUshed Wesley scholars from the United States and England. Yet, because the conference intended to "honor tiie Wesleyan way in the liberal arts," the book also includes reflective essays by persons whose specialties are Spanish, biology, Uterature, and music, as well as a set of photographs by Rutilatine Smith-Mann.

Of particular interest to readers of The Hymn wiU be the ways in which the authors explore hymnody as verbal icon, polemic, spiritual formation, knowledge of God, personal encounter, prayer, and consolation. S T Kimbrough's exploration of Wesleyan hymnody as verbal icons - as "vehicles of worship through which Christ is worshiped and glorified" (6) - was especiaUy intriguing. His argument would have been helped had he focused on tiie fact that the iconographers do not think of their work as "drawing" an icon, but of "writing" an icon. LesUe Griffiths explores the role of Wesley's hymns in their struggle with Calvinism, especiaUy with the question of universal salvation. Tim Macquiban looks to the hymns as tools for spiritual formation and theological education. Karen Westerfield Tucker uses Wesley's "O Thou who this mysterious bread" to explore die connection between participation in Eucharist, our experience of Christ's real presence, and our knowledge of God's mysterious love. Peter Forsaith explores Wesley's friendship with the "perenniaUy iU" John Fletcher, using Wesley's "Jesus, thy feeble servant see! …

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