Albert Cook Outler (1908-1989) was a 20th century American
Methodist theologian and philosopher. Outler is generally considered to be one of the most important
John Wesley scholars in the history of the Church as well as the first real United Methodist theologian. He was also a key figure in the 20th century ecumenical movement.
Outler was born and raised in Georgia and was an Holy Orders|ordained Methodist Elder who served as pastor in several appointments. He received his Ph.D. degree from Yale University, teaching at both Yale and Duke University before beginning a long tenure
at Southern Methodist University in Texas. He served on the Faith & Order board of the World Council of Churches and was an official observer at the Second Vatican Council.
Studies on Wesley
Outler is widely credited with being the first to recognize John Wesley's method for theologizing, via what Outler referred to as the
Wesleyan Quadrilateral: Scripture, Church Tradition, Reason, and Personal Experience. This understanding of Wesleyan theology is prevalent throughout Methodism, particularly in The United Methodist Church.
Using this model, Outler was a key figure in organizing the theological statement put forth by The United Methodist Church after its formation in 1968.
Throughout his career, Outler edited and published Wesley's works, and at the time of his death he was chief editor for what has been called the definitive modern edition. As he encouraged Methodists to return to Wesley, he is often called "the
- Albert Outler: The Churchman (
- Albert C. Outler: The Gifted Dilettante by Bob W. Parrott (
ISBN 1885224281), a definitive biography
- Albert Outler: The Historian & Interpreter of the Christian Tradition
- Albert Outler on the Holy Spirit: The Pneumatology of Albert Cook Outler
- Albert Outler: The Preacher (
ISBN 0687009502), a collection of sermons
- Albert Outler: The University Professor (
- Christology (
- The Ecumenical Theologian (
- Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit (
ISBN 0881771511), a synthesis of Wesleyan thought
- John Wesley (
ISBN 0195028104), considered perhaps the finest one volume intoduction to Wesley
- The Pastoral Psychology of Albert C. Outler (
- The Works of John Wesley, an ongoing series for which Outler served as initial editor, presenting what is hoped to be definitive editions of Wesley's writings