THE IMPACT OF AMERICAN RELIGIOUS LIBERALISM by Kenneth Cauthen
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THE IMPACT OF AMERICAN RELIGIOUS LIBERALISM

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What were the forces, principles and problems which overcame the largely colonistic orthodoxy of American theology after 1875, resulting in a new theology of liberalism which was widely accepted and taught? Showing that this was a response to the compelling demand that living faith come to terms with the modern world, Kenneth Cauthen proceeds to analyze the complex factors which constituted the milieu in which liberal theology developed. They are summed up in three motifs, continuity, with its emphasis on the imminence of God, autonomy, with emphasis on the centrality of religious experience rather than the authority of divine revelation -- and dynamism, which stressed the evolution of nature and history as over against the once-held static nature of life and the world. Science, philosophy and Biblical study added the chief ingredients which made this theological revolution inevitable and inescapable. The author then proceeds to describe and evaluate the development of American liberalism through the writings of William Adams Brown, Harry Emerson Fosdick, Walter Rauschenbusch, A. C. Knudson, Eugene W. Lyman, Shailer Mathews, Douglas Clyde McIntosh and Harry Nelson Welman. He then concludes with a chapter on the relation of liberalism to post-liberal trends. It all adds up to an important study in the growth, development and influence of a large segment of American religion which no serious student can afford to miss.

Publisher: Harper