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Northern America

(6,395 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[ Note: In current U.N. usage “Northern America” comprises the United States and Canada, plus the island dependencies of Bermuda (U.K.), Greenland (Den.), and St. Pierre and Miquelon (Fr.). The U.N.’s “Latin America and the Caribbean,” then, includes Mexico and all of Central America, the West Indies, and South America. In its discussion here of the United States and Canada, with brief reference also to Mexico, this article uses throughout the more common phrase “North America.”] 1. United States-Canada-Mexico Spiritual as well as geographic orientation for the histo…

Scougal, Henry

(94 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Jun 1650, Leuchars, Scotland – Jun 13, 1678, Aberdeen, Scotland), was appointed professor of divinity at King’s College, Aberdeen, in 1673. His The Life of God in the Soul of Man, or, The Nature and Excellency of the Christian Religion (1677) stressed the necessity for “true Christianity” in contrast to ecclesiastical formalism. He had great influence on the Wesley brothers and other leading figures of the 18th-century evangelical movement. Mark A. Noll Bibliography The Works of the Rev. Henry Scougal, 1818 D. Butler, Henry Scougal and the Oxford Methodists, 1899.

Aberhart, William

(96 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Dec 30, 1878, Kippen, Ontario – May 23, 1943, Vancouver), fundamentalist minister, radio preacher, and politician. Having established a reputation in Calgary, Alberta, as a representative of Darbyite evangelical theology (Plymouth Brethren), he shifted to politics during the depression of the 1930s. He supported the “social credit” program of Clifford Hugh Douglas (1879–1952) as a means of redistributing wealth. As leader of the Social Credit Party, Aberhart was twice elected (1935, 1940) prime minister of the province of Alberta. Mark A. Noll Bibliography D.R.…

Wieman, Henry Nelson

(111 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Aug 19, 1884, Rich Hill, MO – Jun 19, 1975, Grinell, IA), an early process theologian (Process theology) in liberal American Protestantism. After training for the Presbyterian ministry and study in Germany, Wieman was greatly influenced by W.E. Hocking and Ralph Barton Perry at Harvard where he received his Ph.D. in 1917. In teaching at Occidental College and at the University of Chicago, Wieman advocated a naturalistic theism as, for example, in his books The Wrestle of Religion with Truth (1927) and The Source of Human Good (1946), also opposing theological pers…

Know-Nothings

(158 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] The Know-Nothing Party was a 19th-century political organization that emerged in the New England states and in New York, and was based on opposition to Roman Catholicism. It began as a secret society among Protestants, who feared the effects of rising immigration. They answered “we know nothing” when questioned about the existence of their group. In their view, Catholic immigrants competed unfairly for jobs, demanded state aid for Catholic schools, and followed the dictates of pol…

Prohibition, Alcohol

(270 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] Prohibition, Alcohol, a movement in the United States to ban alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, began in the early 19th century with efforts at temperance reform associated with the revivals of the Second Great Awakening (Revival/Revival movements: II). Neal Dow, who spearheaded the drive for the first state prohibition law (Maine, 1846), called temperance (Asceticism) “Christ’s work,” which “every true soldier of the Cross” should fight. In the industrial era of the la…

Rockefeller, John Davison Sr.

(128 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Jul 8, 1839, Richford, NY – May 23, 1937, Ormond Beach, FL), business magnate and philanthropist, established himself by the 1870s as a leader for the new oil industry. His Standard Oil Company became the source of great personal wealth. Through his mother, Eliza Davison, Rockefeller received a strong Baptist upbringing. Throughout his life he contributed regularly to many churches and voluntary societies. Although leaders of the Social Gospel like W. Gladden urged church groups …

Stone, Barton Warren

(131 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Dec 24, 1772, near Port Tobacco, MD – Nov 9, 1844, Hannibal, MO), leader of the American Restoration Movement, was ordained as Presbyterian, but early on began to doubt aspects of traditional Presbyterian practice. In 1801 he was the ¶ key figure in the great Cane Ridge revival meeting in Kentucky (Revival/Revival movements: II). In an active career as preacher, writer ( Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery, 1804), and editor, he promoted an apocalyptic vision of Christian faith, the practice of baptism by immersion, and the resto…

Evangelical Union, The

(143 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] The Evangelical Union was formed in Scotland in May 1843 by James Morison and several other theological Arminians who had been excluded from the United Secession Church for promoting a theology of universal atonement, human free will, Congregational polity, and the Bible alone without ¶ creeds. The Union was influenced in many of its views by the American revivalist Charles G. Finney. It enjoyed particular success in urban ministry, where it was known for a firm stand against t…

Spencer, Herbert

(165 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Apr 27, 1820, Derby, England – Dec 8, 1903, Brighton, England), social scientist and popular writer, worked as a railway engineer and political journalist. His System of Synthetic Philosophy (1862–1896) established his reputation as a comprehensive thinker about society, education, ethics, and politics. To each of these domains he applied general evolutionary ideas. Evolution also explained the history of religions, which mirrored the social systems in which they existed, reinforced the practices of existin…

Coffin, Henry Sloane

(178 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Jan 5, 1877, New York – Nov 25, 1954, Lakeville, CT) was a leading Protestant educator and ecumenicist in the USA during the first half of the 20th century. After an education at Yale, Edinburgh, Marburg, and at Union Theological Seminary (NY), Coffin became a Presbyterian minister in New York. Soon he added duties as a professor at Union, where he became the president in 1926 (until 1945). Coffin was an early advocate of the Social Gospe…

Worthington, John

(108 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Feb, 1617, Manchester – buried Nov 30, 1671, Hackney), earned his M.A. from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1632. From 1650 to 1660 he served as master of Jesus College, Cambridge, but then was replaced at the Restoration of the English monarchy. His liberal Christian spirit led him to stress the experience of practical godliness. He edited the works of the leading Cambridge Platonist, J. Mede, provided the first widely used English translation of Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ, and published several books, including The Great Duty of Self-resignation to …

North America, Theology in

(2,153 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] Nowhere has America’s status as an intellectual colony of Europe been more evident than in its formal Christian theology. With only a few exceptions, Roman Catholic theologians in America have been mostly content to follow the guidance of Europeans. American promotion of Neo-Thomism from roughly 1870 to 1960 is the most important example of that dependence. Much the same situation has prevailed among the Orthodox, with the major difference that European influence has taken the sha…

Congregational Christian Churches

(521 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] When Congregationalists merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Church to form a new denomination, the United Church of Christ, in 1957, they were the major representatives in the USA of historic Anglo-American Congregationalism. These churches were descendents of separatist movements that had begun among English Protestants during the 2nd half of the 16th century. A pamphlet published in 1582 by R. Browne, A Treatise of Reformation without Tarrying for Any, proclaimed principles that would define the movement: Christ is the sole head of th…

Brown, George

(89 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Nov 29, 1818, Alloa, Scotland – May 9, 1880, Toronto), a Presbyterian journalist and politician. Brown emigrated from Scotland to New York (1837) and then to Toronto (1843). After the Disruption of 1843 divided the Presbyterian Church of Scotland (Presbyterians), Brown and his father Peter were energetic advocates of the Free Church. In various newspapers, especially the Toronto Globe, Brown ¶ supported Protestantism and resisted the influence of Roman Catholicism. Mark A. Noll Bibliography J.M.S. Careless, Brown of the Globe, 2 vols., 1959/63 (repr. 1989).

Consultation on Church Union

(189 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] The Consultation on Church Union emerged from a proposal in December 1960 by the American Presbyterian Eugene Carson Blake for an organic union of churches “truly catholic, truly evangelical, and truly reformed.” The Consultation was established in 1962 by representatives of four mainline Protestant denominations. After mergers and the addition of new bodies, nine churches have continued as full members: African Methodist Episcopal Church, Afric…

Jefferson, Thomas

(199 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Apr 13, 1743, Albemarle County, VA – Jul 4, 1826, Monticello, VA), was the third president of the United States and played an important role in American religious history. He was the author of Virginia's landmark “Statute for Freedom of Religion” of 1786, which set the pattern that the whole United States would follow in guaranteeing nearly complete religious liberty. Jefferson's beliefs became the subject of political controversy when his opponents in the presidential campaign o…

Davies, Robertson

(151 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Aug 28, 1913, Thamesville, Ontario – Feb 12, 1995, Orangeville, Ontario), Canada's leading 20th-century novelist. In his works Davies regularly employed religious symbols, disputes, traditions, and hagiography. After working in the theater and as an editor of the Examiner, published in Peterborough, ¶ Ontario, he became Master of Massey College, University of Toronto, in 1963, where he served until retirement. Davies's novels included three trilogies: …

Orange Order

(268 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] The Orange Order is a Protestant fraternal organization founded in 1795 in the north of Ireland and dedicated to the victory of the English Protestant king William (from Orange in Holland) over the ¶ Roman Catholic James I at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690 (Ireland: II). The order arose at a time of particular tension in County Armagh when both Catholic agitation and Enlightenment thinking threatened the social and political dominance of Protestantism. It developed through the construction of lodges, the for…

Bourget, Ignace

(148 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Oct 30, 1799, Saint-Joseph, Canada – Jun 8, 1885, Sault-au-Récollet, Quebec), second Roman Catholic bishop of Montreal. When Bourget became bishop of Montreal in 1840, he had already established himself as an active diocesan administrator, tireless recruiter of nuns, brothers, and priests from Europe. As bishop he founded institutes of charit…
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