William Taylor and the Mapping of the Methodist Missionary Tradition
The World His Parish
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Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of Pages: 280
Width: 15.9 cm
Height: 23.7 cm
This book is the first critical biography of William Taylor, a nineteenth-century American missionary who worked on six continents. Following Taylor's global odyssey, the volume maps the contours of the Methodist missionary tradition and illumines key historical foundations of contemporary world Christianity. A work of social history that places a leading Methodist missionary in the foreground, this narrative illustrates distinctive aspects and tensions within Methodist missions such as the importance of doctrines like universal atonement and entire sanctification, a deeply pragmatic orientation rooted in God's providence, an embrace of both entrepreneurial initiatives and networked connection, and the use of revivalism for missionary outreach and leadership development. A Virginia native, Taylor became a Methodist preacher and missionary in California. This volume provides an important narrative account of Taylor's career as an itinerant revivalist and popular author, in which he toured the eastern United States, the British Isles, and Australasia. Taylor's participation in the South African revival made him an evangelical celebrity. The author also follows Taylor's important visits to India and South America, where he initiated new Methodist missions in those contexts and pioneered the concept of "tentmaking" missions. In 1884, Taylor was elected missionary bishop of Africa by his church. By the end of his life, Taylor had recruited or inspired hundreds of Methodists to become foreign missionaries.