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General introduction

ByBrian E. Beck

The articles collected here were originally written over a period of some 20 years up to 2010, and represent my reflections on a number of Methodist and ecumenical questions. They vary in style, some having begun life as addresses, others as contributions to the Epworth Review or to collections of essays on particular subjects. Two are the fruit of pieces of research I had the opportunity to undertake. Each chapter looks at a specific topic but many require reference to the same historical background and some repetition has been inevitable. I have tried to limit it by editing where possible. The issues are discussed from the standpoint of a British Methodist but the wider Methodist scene is also taken into account. The last chapter in particular began life in an American context. It is included here because of the wider relevance of the issues discussed.