Chapter

Orestes Brownson Before 1840

in Friends of the Unrighteous Mammon

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780226137063
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226137087 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226137087.003.0010
Orestes Brownson Before 1840

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It is important to note that whenever investigating Orestes Brownson's thoughts on religion and economics, it is always important to ask the question: “Which Orestes Brownson are we talking about?” Francis Wayland and Stephen Colwell took very different sides in the economic discussions of the day, but their thoughts remained internally consistent throughout their adult lives. Colwell exhibited as much European-style radicalism and concern for the working-class underdog in some of his very first publications in the early 1840s as he did in his controversial New Themes for the Protestant Clergy in 1851 and in subsequent works. Brownson, by contrast, moved all over the spiritual and intellectual map, at least in the first half of his life. Instead of keeping his nascent ideas to himself, waiting for them to mature into a coherent philosophy or theology before sharing them with the world, Brownson's thoughts seemed to develop only as he wrote about them. Some make the case that it was Brownson's subconscious search for a father that led him to Christianity in general and ultimately to Catholicism.

Keywords: Orestes Brownson; philosophy; theology; Christianity; Catholicism; religion; economics; Stephen Colwell; Francis Wayland

Chapter.  6954 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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