The making of American liberal theology : imagining progressive religion, 1805-1900 /

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 an...

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Main Author: Dorrien, Gary J.
Format: Book
Language:English
Published:Louisville, Ky. : Westminster John Knox Press, c2001.
Edition:1st ed.
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Main Author:Dorrien, Gary J.
Summary: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.

In this first of a three-volume, comprehensive series, Gary Dorrien mixes theological analysis with historical and biographical detail to present the first comprehensive interpretation of American theological liberalism. Arguing that the indigenous roots of American liberal theology existed before the rise of Darwinism, Dorrien maintains that this tradition took shape in the nineteenth century and was motivated by a desire to map a progressive "third way" between authority-based orthodoxies and atheistic rationalism. Dorrien characterizes American liberal theology by its openness to historical criticism and evolutionary theory, 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.

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Physical Description:xxv, 494 p. : ports. ; 23 cm.
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references (p. [412]-473) and index.
ISBN:0664223540 (acid-free)