Nuclear Disarmament Theology of Peace and War Methodist Family

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Home > Theology of Peace and War > Wesleyan Quadrilateral


The Wesleyan Quadrilateral

Scripture: Biblical Perspective
Tradition: Christian History
Reason: Theological Perspectives
Experience: Alternatives to War

Among Methodists the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, provides a useful tool for understanding the Christian faith. Derived from John Wesley's theological approach, the Quadrilateral refers to Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience. For Wesley scripture was the primary source, but the Christian tradition, reason, and experience added depth of discernment.

In 1996 Methodists United for Peace with Justice used the Wesleyan Quadrilateral as the basis for a National Conference on “Building a Wesleyan Theology of Peace for the 21st Century.” It was held at and co-sponsored by Temple United Methodist Church in San Francisco, Rev. Schuyler Rhodes, pastor. For the conference we commissioned papers and developed other material that is now offered on this website. Since then we have added other writings.

In our exploration of the theology of peace and war along the lines of the Quadrilateral we consider (1) the biblical perspective and how it is illuminated by (2) tradition found in Christian history, (3) reason expressed through different theological perspectives, and (4) practical experience in dealing with conflict.


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