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Henry McNeal Turner, 1834-1915
The Genius and Theory of Methodist Polity, or the Machinery of Methodism. Practically Illustrated through a Series of Questions and Answers
Philadelphia: Publication Department, A. M. E. Church, [1885].


Henry McNeal Turner's The Genius and Theory of Methodist Polity is intended as an introduction to the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, directed towards \"the neophyte ministry and laity of our church\" (v). Turner's book asks and then answers 1115 basic questions about church ideology, organization, administration, and history. The topics cover a wide range, from the British kings before Henry VIII who resisted the pope (34) and the scriptural justification for exhorting (78) to the church policy on back pay (156). He concludes this guide to the A.M.E. Church by providing the general rules and constitution of the church, as well as several blank versions of frequently used forms. No doubt esteemed as profoundly useful when written, the book remains valuable to researchers who are interested in exploring the nineteenth-century A.M.E. Church.

Brent Kinser

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