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AAR logo (2)Dr Gareth Lloyd, the Library’s curator of Christian religious archives, represented the Library at the joint annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) in Atlanta, 21-24 November.

AAR2015 (2)The AAR and SBL are the world’s largest organizations devoted to the study of religion and spirituality in all aspects across the broadest possible spectrum of major religions and faith groups. The meeting in Atlanta attracted approximately 10,000 attendees and comprised more than 1,200 events – academic sessions, additional meetings, receptions, tours, and workshops. An added attraction was the world’s largest book fair for biblical and religious studies with over 150 publishers represented.

Dr Lloyd, who has presented at several previous AAR/SBL annual meetings, acted as joint convener of a session, organized in collaboration with Liverpool Hope University on the theme of “With Their Own Voice”: The Current State and Future Direction of Methodist-Evangelical Primary Text Scholarship. The John Edwards Center at Yale and the Wesley Text Center at Duke University were represented on the panel of speakers, together with the Charles Wesley Letters project and the W. E. Sangster primary papers initiative at Liverpool Hope. Dr Lloyd presented on Methodist and evangelical digital collections at The John Rylands Library and also announced a major text initiative aimed at making electronically available by the spring of 2016 an internationally significant collection of 18th-century conversion testimonies.

The session was chaired by Reverend Dr David Hart of the Methodist Church of Great Britain.

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Letter from Mary Thomas to Charles Wesley, describing her reactions to hearing John Wesley preach, 24 May 1742. Methodist Archives / EMV 128.