“Arguments for the Possibility Are Good”

David F. Holland

in Sacred Borders

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199753611
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895113 | DOI:

Series: Religion in America

“Arguments for the Possibility Are Good”

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This chapter traces the intellectual history of the canon among liberal Christians of the nineteenth century. Beginning with Hicksite Quakers, it moves through William Ellery Channing's Unitarianism, the Transcendentalism of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Theodore Parker, the transition from Transcendentalism to Catholicism of Orestes Brownson, and finally the liberal congregationalism of Horace Bushnell. It demonstrates how the convergence of various intellectual trends in the nineteenth century—such as skepticism, sentimentalism, and biblical criticism—combined to push prominent American thinkers toward a concept of an open canon.

Keywords: Elias Hicks; Hicksite Quakers; William Ellery Channing; Unitarianism; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Margaret Fuller; Theodore Parker; Transcendentalism; Orestes Brownson; Horace Bushnell

Chapter.  17292 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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