Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2011

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery


In this article, the open-endedness of Wesleyan ethics is affirmed; attempts to articulate a system of Wesleyan ethics have been few, and it would be virtually impossible for any single expression of Wesleyan ethics to be regarded as definitive for the tradition as a whole. The fact that Wesleyan ethics is a relatively open field allows it to be developed in a number of ways that can still be regarded as Wesleyan or are at least consistent with basic Wesleyan commitments. Wesley’s allegiance to empiricism is then recalled, and the importance of addressing epistemological questions is stressed. An outline of what it means for ethics to be grounded in empiricism and a simple justification for viewing ethics that way are offered. In the final section the various options that exist for developing Wesleyan ethics within an empiricist framework are articulated.


Published in the Wesleyan Theological Journal vol. 46 issue 1 (2011). Used by permission of the publisher.