The Methodist Conference in America
In the Methodist lexicon, 'conference' refers to a body of preachers (and later,
of laity as well) that exercises legislative, judicial, and executive functions for
the church or some portion thereof. 'Conference,' says Richey, defined Methodism in
more than political ways: on conference hinged religious time, religious space,
religious belonging, religious structure, even religiosity itself. Methodist
histories uniformly recognize, typically even feature, conference's centrality, but
describe that in primarily constitutional and political terms. The purpose of this
volume is to present conference as a distinctively American Methodist manner of
being the church, a multifaceted mode of spirituality, unity, mission, governance,
and fraternity that American Methodists have lived and operated better than they
- 1996 Abingdon Press
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