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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…

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 …

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: …

Union Theological Seminary

(153 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (UTS). America’s first interdenominational theological seminary was founded in 1836 by “New School” Presbyterians. From 1870 to 1892 it served the Northern Presbyterian Church, but became independent once again when C.A. Briggs was expelled from the denomination for promoting higher critical views of Scripture. Notable faculty in the 19th century included the theologian Henry Boynton Smith and P. Schaff. Ties with Germany remained strong into the 20th century, especially with the …

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…

Douglass, Frederick

(171 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (c. 1818, Talbot County, MD – Feb 20, 1895, Washington DC), African-American abolitionist (Slavery), was born Frederick Bailey of a slave mother and an unknown white father. After a childhood of cruel neglect, he was taken to Baltimore, where he learned to read and write. On Sep 2, 1838 he escaped from slavery, soon changed his name to Dou…

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…

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 …

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…

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.…

Reconstructionism

(654 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] I. Judaism Reconstructionist Judaism is the most recent major school of modern Judaism (III) and the only one born ¶ in America. It was founded by the rabbi M.M. Kaplan, who defined Judaism as a “civilization” embracing not just religion but also areas of life like art and music. The movement began as an intellectual tendency in the progressive wing of Conservative Judaism. Only gradually was it able to establish an autonomous organizational structure and independent institutions. The opening of the…

Mountain, Jacob

(166 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Dec 1, 1749, Thwaite All Souls, Suffolk, England – Jun 16, 1825, Quebec, Canada), founder of the Anglican Church in what is now Quebec and Ontario, Canada. After education at Cambridge and service in several Anglican posts, Mountain was appointed on Jun 28, 1793, as the first Anglican bishop of Quebec. Although Quebec was inhabited mostly by French-speaking Roman Catholics, whom Britain had conquered in the French and Indian War ¶ (1754–1763), the British were eager to see a strong Protestant church develop. Mountain, whose huge see stretched also i…

Southcott, Johanna

(177 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (April 1750 [baptized Jun 6, 1750, Devonshire] – Dec 27, 1814, London), a self-described prophet, gathered a considerable following in the early 19th century. Coming from a farming family, in 1792 she joined the Methodists, but two years later broke with them after she began to issue prophecies. Her first tract, “The Strange Effects of Faith” (1801), described her expectation of a speedy end of the age and her own role in the Last Days, influenced by Richard Brothers (1757–1824), …

Wise, Isaac Mayer

(92 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Mar 29, 1819, Steingrub, Bohemia – Mar 26, 1900, Cincinnati, OH), early leader of American Reform Judaism, migrated to America after talmudic study in Bohemia and Austria. Wise eventually settled in Cincinnati where, after constant effort, he was instrumental in founding the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (1873), Hebrew Union College (1875), and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (1889). Wise’s adaptation of Judaism to American freedoms led to opposition from Orthodox Jewish leaders. Mark A. Noll Bibliography S.D. Temkin, Isaac Mayer Wise: Sha…

Burwash, Nathanael

(87 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Jul 25, 1839, St. Andrews, Canada – Mar 30, 1918, Toronto), Methodist minister, teacher and Canada's leading Methodist theologian in the second half of the 19th century. As the principal of Victoria College in Toronto he supported a typically Canadian form of “progressive” evangelical Protestantism. Although Burwash was an advocate of J. Wesley's theology and of a conservative moral theology he developed his own evolutionist theories and a moderate biblical criticism. Mark A. Noll Bibliography M. van Die, An Evangelical Mind, 1989.

Yale University

(292 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] was founded as the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. It relocated permanently to New Haven in 1717 and, in 1718, took its name from Elihu Yale, a British philanthropist. J. Edwards was an early graduate (1720) and then tutor. Under the moderate E. Stiles (president 1778–1795) and the energetic T. Dwight (1795–1817), Yale became a leading center of broadly evangelical Christianity in the United States. A divinity school was added in 1822 under N.W. Taylor, which rapidly bec…

Stoddard, Solomon

(85 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Oct 1, 1643, Boston, MA – Feb 11, 1729, Northampton, MA), Congregationalist minister, in 1672 called as the second pastor of Northampton Congregational Church. Against Boston’s ministers he favored opening the Lord’s Supper to all respectable persons as a “converting ordinance.” Two years before his death he presided over the installation of his grandson, J. Edwards, as his successor in the Northampton pulpit. Mark A. Noll Bibliography P.J. Tracy, American National Biography, ed. J.A. Garraty et al., vol. XX, 1999, 822f.

Briand, Jean Olivier

(167 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Jan 23, 1715, Plévin – Jun 25, 1794, Quebec), seventh Roman Catholic bishop of Quebec. Briand arrived in Canada from France in 1741 and soon became an influential diocesan leader as well as an important diplomat. After the defeat of the French by the British on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec City in 1759, Briand quickly accommodated himself …

Coughlin, Charles Edwards

(138 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Oct 25, 1891, Hamilton, Ontario – Oct 27, 1979, Bloomfield Hills, MI), pioneer radio broadcaster, was ordained a Catholic priest in 1916. In order to raise money for his new aasignment at the parish in Royal Oak, MI, he took to the airwaves (Radio and television). His programs were at first strictly religious, but after the stock market crash of 1929 he added political commentary. In 1936 he organized the National Union for Social Justice and so…

Rowlands, Daniel

(102 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (1713, Pantybeudy, Wales – Oct 16, 1790, Llangeitho, Wales), revival preacher. He was ordained a priest in the Church of Wales in 1735 but was then converted in 1736 under the influence of Griffith Jones on Llanddowror. Immediately Rowland’s preaching, as curate of Llangeitho, attracted large crowds. By 1737 he was also establishing local societies in the Methodist pattern. In connection with fellow revivalist H. Harris, Rowland laid the groundwork for what became in the 19th century the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Connexion. Mark A. Noll Bibliography E. Evans, Danie…

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…

Stiles, Ezra

(104 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Nov 29, 1727, North Haven, CT – May 12, 1795, New Haven, CT), Congregationalist minister and college president, entering the ministry (1755) as pastor of the Second Congregational Church in Newport, Rhode Island. There he opposed the slave trade and engaged in a variety of scientific and literary ¶ pursuits. He became president of Yale in 1778. His life-long support of liberty led him to oppose schemes to send an Anglican bishop to the colonies. He prophesied a great future for the independent United States. Mark A. Noll Bibliography E.S. Morgan, The Gentle Puritan: A …

Seton, Elizabeth Ann Bailey (Saint)

(137 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Aug 28, 1774, New York – Jan 4, 1821, Emmitsburg, MD), founder of a religious community. Seton traveled to Italy in 1803, where she was introduced to the Roman Catholic Church. Following her husband’s death and her return to the United States in 1804, she continued to study the Catholic faith and on Mar 14, 1805, entered the church. After moving to Maryland in 1808, she opened a school for girls and then joined the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph, whose first American director…

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…

Mind-Cure Movements

(266 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] Mind-cure movements, which arose in several places in the United States throughout the 19th century, shared a common commitment to metaphysical idealism and a belief in the ability of the mind to overcome physical illness. They were anticipated by aspects of animal magnetism supported by F.A. Mesmer and the spiritual biblical hermeneutics of E. Swedenborg. An earlier proponent was W.F. Evans (1817–1887), author of The Primitive Mind Cure (1885). Even more important was P.P. Quimby (1802–1866), who viewed God as a personified First Cause and perso…

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…

North America

(2,194 words)

Author(s): Wißmann, Hans | Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] I. General 1. Geography. The northern half of the American double continent (America) comprises the North American Arctic including Greenland (Danish), the Canadian Arctic Archipelago north of the mainland, the French overseas Département Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon off the east coast of Canada, the British Bermuda Islands in the Atlantic, and the continent itself, divided today into the countries of Canada and the United States of America, south to the northern boundary of Mexico. The territory of North America covers 21.5 million km2 and has roughly 274 milli…

Methodists

(4,477 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A. | Pfleiderer, Georg | Ward, W. Reginald | Wigger, John H. | Price, Lynne
[German Version] I. Confession – II. Church History – III. Methodist World Mission I. Confession Methodism arose as a movement of spiritual renewal in the established Anglican Church of England and Wales in the 1730s and 1740s. Its earliest, least organized phase reflected the influence of three important antecedents – the evangelical Calvinist Puritans, the Pietists of Halle (Pietism), and the Moravians, and a high-church Anglican tradition (High church movement) that had promoted an ideal of the primitive…
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