Taylorites and Tylerites

Douglas A. Sweeney

in After Jonathan Edwards

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199756292
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950379 | DOI:
Taylorites and Tylerites

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Yale’s Nathaniel William Taylor was the most controversial Edwardsian theologian of his era. He scandalized the country with his recontextualization of Edwards’s views of original sin, freedom of will, and regeneration. His New Haven Theology split the ranks of Connecticut Congregationalists, inciting strong reaction from conservatives led by Taylor’s rival, Bennet Tyler. It also yielded a schism in the Presbyterian Church. This chapter explains and assesses the nature of the controversy sparked by Taylor’s teaching, focusing closely on the debate between Taylorites and Tylerites (who founded a Pastoral Union, a Christian periodical, and a seminary in opposition to Taylor and Yale Divinity School). Revising older views of this dispute, which saw Taylor as a symbol of the decline of Edwardsian theology in America, the chapter interprets Taylor and the contest over Edwards as a sign of the vitality of Edwardsian divinity to the time of the Civil War.

Keywords: Nathaniel William Taylor; Bennet Tyler; New Haven Theology; Yale Divinity School; Congregationalism

Chapter.  3740 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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