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Horace Bushnell

American Congregationalist theologian

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Summary

Horace Bushnell (April 14, 1802 – February 17, 1876) was an American Congregational clergyman and theologian.

Born
Died
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Importance
April 14, 1802
February 17, 1876
Atonement, Christology, Congregational churches, History, Jesus Christ
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Importance is calculated using the length of this author's Wikipedia entry, as well as the number of works by and about this author.
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Biography

 Horace Bushnell
Source: Wikipedia

Bushnell was born in the village of Bantam, township of Litchfield, Connecticut, on the 14th of April 1802. He graduated at Yale in 1827, in 1831 he entered the theological department of Yale College, and in 1833 was ordained pastor of the North Congregational church in Hartford, Connecticut, where he remained until 1859, when on account of long-continued ill-health he resigned his pastorate. Thereafter he had no settled charge, but, until his death at Hartford on the 17th of February 1876, he occasionally preached and was diligently employed as an author.

Four of his books were of particular importance: Christian Nurture (1847), in which he virtually opposed revivalism and "effectively turned the current of Christian thought toward the young"; Nature and the Supernatural (1858), in which he discussed miracles and endeavored to "lift the natural into the supernatural" by emphasizing the supernaturalness of man; The Vicarious Sacrifice (1866), in which he contended for what has come to be known as the "moral view" of the atonement in distinction from the "governmental" and the "penal" or "satisfaction" theories; and God in Christ (1849) (with an introductory "Dissertation on Language as related to Thought"), in which he expressed, it was charged, heretical views as to the Trinity, holding, among other things, that the Godhead is "instrumentally three -- three simply as related to our finite apprehension, and the communication of God's incommunicable nature." Attempts, indeed, were made to bring him to trial, but they were unsuccessful, and in 1852 his church unanimously withdrew from the local "consociation", thus removing any possibility of further action against him.

To his critics Bushnell formally replied by writing Christ in Theology (1851), in which he employs the important argument that spiritual facts can be expressed only in approximate and poetical language, and concludes that an adequate dogmatic theology cannot exist. That he did not deny the divinity of Christ he proved in The Character of Jesus, forbidding his possible Classification with Men (1861). He also published Sermons for the New Life (1858); Christ and his Salvation (1864); Work and Play (1864); Moral Uses of Dark Things (1868); Womens Suffrage, the Reform against Nature (1869); Sermons on Living Subjects (1872); and Forgiveness and Law (1874).

Bushnell was greatly interested in the civic interests of Hartford, and was the chief agent in procuring the establishment of the public park named in his honor by that city. An edition of his works, in eleven volumes, appeared in 1876-81; and a further volume, gathered from his unpublished papers, as The Spirit in Man: Sermons and Selections, in 1903. New editions of his Nature and the Supernatural, Sermons for the New Life, and Work and Play, were published the same year. A full bibliography, by Henry Barrett Learned, is appended to his Spirit in Man.

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Works by Horace Bushnell

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External Work.
20 editions published.

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Horace Bushnell (1802-1876), minister and theologian, is sometimes called “the father of American religious liberalism.” Influenced by Emerson, Coleridge, and Schleiermacher, the controversial Bushnell thoroughly critiqued the emphasis on the conversion experience so popular among the Christian revivalists of his time. Unlike some of the liberal theologians popular in Continental Europe, however, Bushnell firmly believed in Christ’s divinity. He fiercely defends this conviction in The Character of Jesus, arguing that no mere human could do what Christ had done. While Bushnell does not read the Gospels as entirely historical, he nevertheless affirms that no such account of Jesus’ life could exist if not for his divinity.

Horace Bushnell (1802-1876), minister and theologian, is sometimes called “the father of American religious liberalism.” Influenced by Emerson, Coleridge, and Schleiermacher, the controversial Bushnell thoroughly critiqued the emphasis on the conversion experience so popular among the Christian revivalists of his time. Christ and His Salvation contains a collection of sermons Bushnell wrote in the years following his resignation from the pastorate due to poor health. He offers twenty-one reflections on Christ, his life, his suffering, and his love, and what that means for Christians who wish to take up crosses and follow him.

External Work.
67 editions published.

View on: WorldCat | Amazon

Horace Bushnell (1802-1876), minister and theologian, is sometimes called “the father of American religious liberalism.” Influenced by Emerson, Coleridge, and Schleiermacher, the controversial Bushnell thoroughly critiqued the emphasis on the conversion experience so popular among the Christian revivalists of his time.Christian Nurture was the first of his more controversial publications. The book contains one of Bushnell’s most stringent denunciations of the views of his evangelical contemporaries on the process of becoming a follower of Christ. Becoming a Christian did not happen overnight in a burst of emotion, he argued; instead, one must train oneself up in the ways of the church as long as one lives, and only then can one claim the title “Christian.” In particular, Bushnell advises parents to train up their children in the faith from the beginning of their lives.

External Work.
2 editions published.

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External Work.
4 editions published.

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External Work.
4 editions published.

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External Work.
25 editions published.

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External Work.
48 editions published.

View on: WorldCat | Amazon

Horace Bushnell (1802-1876), minister and theologian, is sometimes called “the father of American religious liberalism.” Influenced by Emerson, Coleridge, and Schleiermacher, the controversial Bushnell thoroughly critiqued the emphasis on the conversion experience so popular among the Christian revivalists of his time. Sermons for the New Life contains a collection of sermons Bushnell delivered to his congregation in Hartford, Connecticut. He dedicates the collection to them, thanking them for their loving support even “in days of accusation.” Bushnell largely lays aside controversy in this publication, his messages focused on following Christ by living a humble, virtuous life.

External Work.
36 editions published.

View on: WorldCat | Amazon

Horace Bushnell (1802-1876), minister and theologian, is sometimes called “the father of American religious liberalism.” Influenced by Emerson, Coleridge, and Schleiermacher, the controversial Bushnell thoroughly critiqued the emphasis on the conversion experience so popular among the Christian revivalists of his time. With The Vicarious Sacrifice, he makes his contribution to Christian thoughts on Christology, the Incarnation, and the various theories of the atonement. Bushnell employs careful, precise arguments that won the respect of others despite disagreement and controversy. For readers today, Bushnell’s work provides a bridge between two diverging movements, conservative and liberal, in past and contemporary American Christian theology.

External Work.
25 editions published.

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External Work.
9 editions published.

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