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Seminar 5:
John Wesley and the Book of Common Prayer

John Wesley (1703 -1791) described the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as having a more "solid, scriptural, rational piety" than any other liturgy in the world. Yet on more than one occasion, Wesley confessed his willingness to make adjustments to the standard liturgy. In 1784 he revised the Prayer Book to create The Sunday Service for the use of Methodists in North America and in "His Majesty's Dominions".

Wesley was not the first to adjust the Prayer Book's services; neither was he the first to publish an unauthorized alternative to the Prayer Book. He certainly was not the last on both accounts. This lecture will examine Wesley's special contributions to liturgical revision, and thus, to liturgical spirituality.

It will also raise the larger question of what it means to have common prayer, within a single ecclesiastical tradition that uses a standard liturgical text, and across the churches. This subject of prayer in common is especially relevant given current discussions between the Orthodox and non-Orthodox in the World Council of Churches on whether it is possible to engage truly in "ecumenical" worship when the churches are still divided.

This is a joint seminar presented by ISS and the Australian Academy of Liturgy, and will be the Austin James Lecture of the AAL for 2003, celebrating the 300th anniversary of John Wesley's birth.

Date Tuesday 13 May
Time 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm
Venue St Peter's Church, Eastern Hill
Cost $15 (concession: $12)
Conductor The Revd Dr Karen Westerfield-Tucker
Associate Professor of Christian Worship, School of Divinity,
Duke University, Sugden Fellow for 2003 at
Queen's College, University of Melbourne.

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© 2003 The Institute for Spiritual Studies