The Making of American Liberal Theology: Imagining Progressive Religion, 1805-1900, Volume 1

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Westminster John Knox Press, 2001 - Religion - 494 pages
2 Reviews
In this first of three volumes, Dorrien identifies the indigenous roots of American liberal theology and demonstrates a wider, longer-running tradition than has been thought. The tradition took shape in the nineteenth century, motivated by a desire to map a modernist 3third way4 between orthodoxy and rationalistic deism/atheism. It is defined by its openness to modern intellectual inquiry; its commitment to the authority of individual reason and experience; its conception of Christianity as an ethical way of life; and its commitment to make Christianity credible and socially relevant to modern people. Dorrien takes a narrative approach and provides a biographical reading of important religious thinkers of the time, including William E. Channing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Horace Bushnell, Henry Ward Beecher, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Charles Briggs. Dorrien notes that, although liberal theology moved into elite academic institutions, its conceptual foundations were laid in the pulpit rather than the classroom.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - keylawk - LibraryThing

Volume II of III. Describes the rise (and fall) of liberation theology between 1900-1950 as the "dominant tradition" of divinity schools and mainline seminaries. Clearly Dorrien is a gentle champion ... Read full review

Review: The Making of American Liberal Theology 1805-1900

User Review  - Brian Collins - Goodreads

This is the first volume of a three volume history of American liberal theology written from a largely sympathetic perspective. It is well-written and is a good introduction to liberal thought as it ... Read full review

Contents

Unitarian Beginnings William Ellery Charming and the Divine Likeness
1
EighteenthCentury Liberal Arminianism
2
New England Religion in a New Country
5
Moral Philosophy beyond Locke
10
The Wilderness Within
15
Channings Early Ministry
17
English Unitarianism and the American Unitarian Controversy
20
Defending New England Liberal Christianity
24
The Refuge of Personal Religion
181
Preaching to the Middle Class
191
The Meaning of the Civil War Imagining Liberal Christianity
198
Imagining Liberal Christianity
207
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Feminist Movement
214
The Rights of Citizens and the Feminist Schism
225
The Great Beecher Scandal
234
Liberal Theology as Religious Evolutionism
248

The Unitarian Manifesto
28
Creating and Defending a Liberal Denomination
35
Channing as Liberal Leader and Apologist
38
Emerson and the Poetic Spirit
43
Channings Literary Turn
46
The Divine Likeness
48
Spiritual Idealism as Reluctant Radicalism
50
Social Justice and Abolitionist Question
51
Freedom Ringing
56
Subversive Intuitions Ralph Waldo Emerson Theodore Parker and the Transcendentalist Revolt
58
Emersons Road to Transcendentalism
59
The Transcendentalist Club
63
The Transcendentalist Revolt
68
Divinity School Negations
72
Newborn Bards under Attack
74
Defending Transcendentalist Christianity
77
Letting Off the Truth
80
The Transient and Permanent
85
Modern Scholarship and the Nature of Religion
91
Absolute Religion and Historical Christianity
97
The Politics of Absolute Religion
101
The Legacy of Parker Unitarianism
103
Imagination Wording Forth Horace Bushnell and the Metaphors of Inspiration
111
On Choosing Christianity
112
New Haven Theology
114
Moral Government as Social Theology
118
Thinking about Words
122
Social Christianity after Disestablishment
127
Nurturing Sensitive Superior Christians
134
Seeing and Speaking the Gospel
141
Language God and Christ
142
Defending and Rethinking in Exile
148
Speaking the Divine Triunity
155
Nature Supernature and the Redemption of Evil
157
Science and the Law of Sacrifice
163
Shooting in the Dark Finding a Public
172
Enjoying the Gospel
176
Victorianism in Question Henry Ward Beecher Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Religion of Reform
179
Beecher Channing and Feminism
252
The Idea of Feminist Religion
253
Progressivism Ascending Theodore Munger Washington Gladden Newman Smyth the New Theology and the Social Gospel
261
Two Roads to Liberal Protestantism
262
Finding the Social Gospel
270
The Swing Trial
275
Imagining Liberal Protestantism
279
Newman Smyth
282
The Case of Andover Theological Seminary
290
Theodore Munger
293
Washington Gladden
304
The Social Gospel Difference
311
Liberalism and the Theology of Evolution
314
The Politics of the Kingdom
318
The Struggle of Nations and the Crucible of Race
324
The Great War and the Social Gospel
329
Enter the Academics Charles A Briggs Borden Parker Bowne Biblical Criticism and the Personalist Idea
335
Charles A Briggs
337
Evangelical and Scholastic Orthodoxies
344
Defending Biblical Criticism
349
Embracing the Modern Spirit
352
A Compend of Heresies
358
The Briggs Trials and the Imaginary Bible
361
Ecymenical Orthodoxy and Ecumenical Liberalism
366
Liberal Theology beyond Congregationalism
370
The Making of a Personalist
371
Bownes Personalist Theism
373
Personalism as Philosophy of Religion
378
Boston Personalism as Theology
381
Theology as a Voice of Reason and Progress
388
The Victorian Gospel Religion and Modernity in Progress
393
Catholic Modernism and Protestant Ecumenism
394
Legacy of a Theological Century
398
The German Connection and the School of Schleiermacher
403
Theological Progressivism in Progress
405
Notes
412
Index
474
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About the author (2001)

Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and professor of religion at Columbia University. He is the author of 14 books including Imperial Designs: Neoconservatism adn the New Paz Americana. He frequently lectures to universities, conferences, civic groups, and religious communities