Biography of Joseph Haroutunian
Joseph Haroutunian - Presbyterian clergyman and theologian
Haroutunian was born in Marash, Turkey, son of a minister in the Armenian Evangelical Church. He attended the American University of Beirut and earned degrees at Columbia College (1926), Union Seminary (1930), and Columbia University (Ph.D, 1932). He taught at Wellesley College (1932-40), McCormick Seminary (1940-62), and the University of Chicago Divinity School (1962-68).
Haroutunian's dissertation, Piety Versus Moralism: The Passing of the New England Theology (1932) was instrumental in recovering Jonathan Edwards from decades of neglect. There he cast Edwards as a lonely defender of Calvin's God, with a piety, intellect and reverence for fact that towered over both his critics and his followers. In the 1930's Haroutunian wrote against liberal theology and early forms of neo-orthodoxy in favor of a revitalized Reformed or, what he called a "theocentric" Protestantism. Wisdom and Folly in Religion (1940) was a scathing critique of liberal Protestantism. With Louise P. Smith, Haroutunian edited and translated Calvin: Commentaries (1958). His last book, God With Us: A Theology of Transpersonal Life (1965) was a substantial theology of communion faithful to the Reformed tradition and cultural experiences of North American Christians.