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How have religious faith and experience motivated people in the past, and how do they continue to influence people today?
Our work emphasizes the variety and diversity of religious expressions, including the Protestant and Catholic divisions in post-Reformation Christianity, the relationship between religion, the state and politics, new religious movements and the philosophical basis for faith and religion.
The Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History holds major archives and art collections, produces a journal, Wesley and Methodist Studies, and hosts regular conferences.
Our academic staff have published very widely on topics such as sacred space, witchcraft in the early modern period, religion and the state in the eighteenth century, Methodism in the eighteenth century, theological responses to Nazism, religion and psychoanalysis, the material and visual cultures of religion, blasphemy, and secularism.
Current research projects include the eighteenth century church and sex, the religious culture of Europe in the seventeenth century, and Freud and feminism.
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School of History, Philosophy and Culture
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+44 (0)1865 488319
Dr. Peter Forsaith is Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History, Oxford Brookes University, which holds a series of Methodist-related collections. He is a historian of society, religion and culture in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain and has lectured in Britain and the U.S.A.. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
The first known use of the term “Methodist” to refer to the religious group associated with the Wesleys may have been linked to their taking the part of a prisoner accused of sodomy in Oxford in the 1730s. In discussion and debates on sexuality today, churches seem to pay little attention to relevant historical background. This paper attempts to offer some evidence for same-sex occurrence around the genesis of what has evolved to be the Methodist community of churches.
Peter Forsaith has researched areas of Methodist-related history over more than 25 years and lectured in Britain and the U.S.A. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, member of the Society of Archivists and serves on various Methodist history-related bodies, including:
He has had a diverse career, originally in catering and working mostly in social/caring settings, before joining Westminster College, Oxford in 1995 to run a 'widening participation' project working with black and Asian groups.
Other interests and hobbies include antiques (silver and furniture); cooking; motorcycling; reading; swimming.