The New Theology

Molly Oshatz

in Slavery and Sin

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751686
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918799 | DOI:
The New Theology

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Beginning in the late 1870s, liberal Protestants including Washington Gladden, Lyman Abbott, Theodore Munger, Newman Smyth, and Charles Briggs endeavoured to construct a form of Christian orthodoxy that could make its peace with evolution and historical criticism while expressing the religious and moral experience of modern Christians. The final chapter traces the impact of antislavery, the Civil War, and emancipation on the New Theology of the postwar decades, including the liberal Protestant acceptance of evolution and historical criticism and the early development of the Social Gospel. This chapter also traces the dual postwar trajectory of abolitionist theology in both “free religion” and budding fundamentalism.

Keywords: evolution; historical criticism; New Theology; liberal Protestantism; Social Gospel; free religion; fundamentalism; Washington Gladden; Newman Smyth; Charles Briggs

Chapter.  12193 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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