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.
Peter 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. His books include:
- Image, identity and John Wesley; a study in portraiture (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018)
- ‘Unexampled labours’: Letters of the Revd John Fletcher to leaders in the Evangelical Revival. (Peterborough:The Epworth Press, 2008).
Centres and institutes
Forsaith PS, '"…too indelicate to mention…": Transgressive Male Sexualities in Early Methodism'
Methodist Review 12 (2020) pp.61-84
ISSN: 1946-5254 eISSN: 1946-5254Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Forsaith PS, 'James Smetham: Wesleyan Pre-Raphaelite'
PRS Review XXIV (3) (2017)
Published here Open Access on RADAR
Forsaith PS, '"A far greater genius than Sir Joshua"; Did Joshua Reynolds (1723-1789) paint John Wesley (1703-1791)?'
British Art Journal 16 (3) (2016) pp.103-109
ISSN: 1467-2006Published here
Forsaith PS, 'A visit to Fonthill, 1806'
Beckford Journal 22 (2016) pp.35-40
Forsaith P S, 'Preachers, prints and portraits: Methodists and image in Georgian Britain'
The Journal of Religious History, Literature and Culture 1 (2) (2015) pp.55-75
ISSN: 2057-4517 eISSN: 2057-4525
Memberships of professional bodies
Peter 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).
Recent conference papers (unpublished)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 has researched areas of Methodist-related history over more than 25 years and lectured in Britain and the USA.
PhD 'The correspondence of the Revd. John W. Fletcher: letters to the Revd. Charles Wesley' (Oxford Brookes University, 2003).
Peter 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.