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  • Academic staff

  • Dr Peter Forsaith

    Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History

    School of History, Philosophy and Culture

    Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


    Phone number: +44 (0)1865 488319

    Email: pforsaith@brookes.ac.uk


    Peter Forsaith researches, writes and publishes chiefly on aspects of religion, culture and society in 18th-century Britain. He also has responsibility for the Centre's Methodist-related archive holdings, the Wesley Historical Society library, and art collections (including the Methodist Church Collection of Modern Art)

    Peter Forsaith is an historian of religion, culture and society in 18th century Britain, focusing upon the social impact of the evangelical revival; and the links between art and religion. He was visiting scholar at Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas; January-February 2002.


    • Forsaith, P. S., Image, identity and John Wesley; a study in portraiture, Routledge (2017)
      ISBN: 978-1-138-20789-9
      Abstract Website
    • Forsaith P, The Letters of the Revd John Fletcher of Madeley to Leaders in the Evangelical Revival, Epworth Press (2008)
      ISBN: 9780716206057
      Abstract Website

    Journal articles

    Book chapters


    • Forsaith P, review of Pursuing Social Holiness: The Band Meeting in Wesley's Thought and Popular Methodist Practice, in JOURNAL FOR EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY STUDIES 38 (2015) pp.459-460
      ISSN: 1754-0194 eISSN: 1754-0194
    • Forsaith P, review of An Introduction to World Methodism, in Journal of Ecclesiastical History 57 (2006) pp.622-623
      ISSN: 0022-0469 eISSN: 0022-0469



    Recent conference papers (unpublished)

    • British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Oxford, January 2012, People and preachers in the landscape: Methodist 'field preaching' and its depiction.
    • Duke University, NC Wesley summer seminar June 2011, and Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History annual colloquium, A sense of self: portraits and evangelical identity.
    • Wesley Historical Society triennial conference, May 2011 (main speaker), Telling the world: the life-stories of Methodism.
    • Methodist Missionary History Society, 24-25 November 2010, John Fletcher and the American Revolution.
    • British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Oxford, January 2008: Portraits of John Wesley: an evangelical image.
    • Methodist Identities conference, Wesley House, Cambridge, August 2007 (main speaker), Thy Nature and thy Name is 'Methodist': a disquisition into the place of Charles Wesley in the evolution of early Methodist identity;
    • Oxford Institute for Methodist Studies, August 2007 (Eighteenth century early Methodist history working group): 'Moorfields, mollies and Methodists' The co-incidence of two divergent subcultures in eighteenth-century England (an exploration of links between between 'gay' subcultures in eighteenth century England and the emerging Methodist movement).
    • University of Bristol, 'Music, Cultural History and the Wesleys'; July 2007: 'The curious incident of Susanna Wesley's rosebud lips'.


    • Hark, the Herald-angels sing (Charles Wesley) [advisory co-curator], The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, 2007-2008.
    • The Colour of Love (exhibition of the Methodist Church Collection of Modern Christian Art) St Michael's and Wesley Memorial churches, Oxford, April-June 2007.
    • Sacred Harmony, the Musical Wesley Family, [consultant adviser for images]Bridwell Library, Dallas; 2007.

    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:

    • Methodist Church Listed Buildings Advisory Committee
    • Charles Wesley Society (British secretary and Executive member)

    Other experience

    PhD 'The correspondence of the Revd. John W. Fletcher: letters to the Revd. Charles Wesley'. (Oxford Brookes University, 2003)

    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.