Gerald Birney Smith


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Gerald B. Smith was born on 3 May 1868 in Middlefield, Massachusetts. Brown University awarded him the BA degree in 1891 and an honorary DD degree in 1909. Smith taught Latin for one year at Oberlin Academy, and mathematics and foreign languages at Worcester Academy for three years, before enrolling at Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1895. He was influenced by William Adams BROWN and other faculty who represented the liberal theological orientation associated with Albrecht Ritschl. Smith received his BD from Union in 1898 (summa cum laude) and the MA (magna cum laude) in the same year from Columbia University. Union Seminary then awarded Smith a two-year traveling fellowship that allowed him to study in Europe. In 1900 Smith became an instructor of systematic theology and ethics in the University of Chicago's Divinity School, with promotions leading to full professor in 1913. Smith was ordained into the Christian ministry in 1902 at the Hyde Park Baptist Church, where he remained active as a teacher and officer throughout his life. His service to the Divinity School included a variety of administrative duties, among them acting as dean during the absence of the much-traveled Shailer Mathews. Smith was the managing editor of the American Journal of Theology from 1909 to 1920 and was also editor of its successor publication, the Journal of Religion. He helped found the Midwest Division of the American Theological Society and served as an advisor to the nationwide Religious Education Association. He died unexpectedly while vacationing in Dayton, Ohio, on 2 April 1929.


From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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