Leonard Woolsey Bacon
Leonard Woolsey Bacon (1830–May 12, 1907) was an American clergyman, born in New Haven, Connecticut. He was a social commentator and a prolific author on religious, social, and historical matters. In social, political, and religious issues of his times, he often broke with the traditions of his countrymen, sometimes causing "great sensation".
Bacon was born in New Haven, Conn., a son of Leonard Bacon. He graduated at Yale in 1850, and was pastor of the First Church in Litchfield, Conn., of the New England Congregational Church in Brooklyn, N. Y., and of the First Church in Stamford, Conn. Subsequently he spent several years in Europe, chiefly in Geneva, as student, preacher, and writer; was pastor of the Park Congregational Church in Norwich, Conn.(1878-82), and later of other Congregational and Presbyterian churches.
Bacon edited Luther's Deutsche geistliche Lieder (New York, 1883), and wrote: A Life Worth Living: Life of Emily Bliss Gould (1878), Irenics and Polemics, with Sundry Essays in Church History (1898), History of American Christianity (1898), Young People's Societies (with C. A. Northrup, 1900) and The Congregationalists (1904)
Works by Leonard Woolsey Bacon
Bacon introduced his History of American Christianity at the very end of the 19th century. The book appeared just after the violence and controversy of the American Civil War, and just as that of racial segregation and the World Wars began to brew. In spite of this, Bacon’s History highlights the glories and triumphs of Christianity’s development in the United States. In particular, he focuses on how all kinds of Christians from many different countries have met and come together in America. He looks forward to a future in which these Christians can live united in faith. While some critique Bacon’s History for its perhaps excessive patriotism, others appreciate Bacon’s ecumenical vision. In any case, the book stands in a rather unique place in American history. By virtue of this, it tells the story of American Christianity in a way particularly refreshing for an American era characterized by the political polarization of the church.
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