Chapter

The Contribution of the Unitarians

Geoffrey Rowell

in Hell and the Victorians

Published in print May 1974 | ISBN: 9780198266389
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683022 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198266389.003.0003
The Contribution of the Unitarians

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For most of the nineteenth century Unitarianism served as a kind of halfway house for those who found themselves no longer able to accept orthodox Christian belief and who did not as yet wish to pass entirely into agnosticism. Its radical tradition and theological liberalism meant that many of the questions that agitated churchmen and dissenters alike in the course of the century had already been openly debated and discussed within Unitarianism in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The central feature of Unitarian theology was the denial of the Divinity of Christ coupled with an affirmation of the Unity of God, a doctrine which Unitarians thought was imperilled by both traditional Trinitarianism and theories of the Atonement which apparently opposed Christ to the Father. The discussion examines the influence of Joseph Priestley, David Hartley, and F. W. Newman, early Unitarian controversies, and new directions in Unitarianism.

Keywords: Unitarianism; Joseph Priestley; Trinitarianism; Unity of God; Divinity of Christ; David Hartley; F. W. Newman; Unitarian theology

Chapter.  12633 words. 

Subjects: Christianity ; Christian Theology

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