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Robinson, Edward

(180 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Apr 10, 1794, Southington, CT – Jan 27, 1863, New York City), was one of the most influential American biblical scholars of his era. After graduating from Hamilton College in 1816 Robinson became instructor of Hebrew at Andover Seminary from 1823 to 1826, where he was profoundly influenced by Moses Stuart’s appropriation of German philology and criticism. Robinson studied in Germany from 1826 to 1830 and then became professor of biblical literature at Andover where, in 1831, he f…

Dorsey, Thomas Andrew

(168 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Jul 1, 1899, Villa Rica, GA – Jan 23, 1993, Chicago, IL) was the pioneer of African-American “gospel” music, raised by a Baptist minister father and a piano-playing mother. He began playing the blues in Atlanta in 1910 and continued after moving to Chicago in 1916. In the early 1920s he experienced a religious conversion, after which he turned to writing gospel songs, but while retaining features of the Blues. Traditionalists resisted this combination, and Dorsey was forced to peddle his own music. Soon his ¶ songs became popular. Memorable titles include “Preciou…

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…

Tindley, Charles Albert

(176 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] ( Jul 7, 1856, Berlin, MD – Jul 29, 1933, Philadelphia, PA), prominent preacher and author of gospel hymns (Gospel music), was born to former slave parents and began early to prepare for the Methodist ministry. In 1900 he became the pastor of Bainbridge Street Methodist Church in Philadelphia, which soon became a center of the city’s black religious life. In 1901 Tindley began publishing “Songs of Paradise,” gospel hymns marked by clear melodies, simply harmony, and the chorus-ref…

Brébeuf, Jean de (Saint)

(169 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Mar 25, 1593, Condé-sur-Vire, France – Mar 16, 1649, Saint-Ignace, New France, Canada), Jesuit missionary. Brébeuf came to New France in 1625 and almost immediately attempted to evangelize among the Huron Indians. At this time the Huron society was profoundly shaken by disease, contact with Europeans, and warfare with Iroquoian native America…

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…

Slessor, Mary

(158 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Dec 2, 1848, Aberdeen, Scotland – Jan 13, 1915, Use, Nigeria), pioneer Scottish missionary to West Africa. Born into a working-class family, from an early age she participated in church work and youth outreach. After petitioning mission agencies, she was finally appointed a teacher to Calabar, Nigeria, by the United Presbyterian Church Mission Committee. In 1888 she was dispatched to live among the Okoyong, where she went barefoot, dressed in nearly native garb, and maintained a …

Society for Ethical Culture

(166 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] was founded in New York in 1876 by F. Adler. Raised a Reform Jew (Reform Judaism), Adler came to reject traditional notions of monotheism, though he continued to look at the Hebrew Scriptures and the person of Jesus for inspiration. Adhering to the slogan, “deed not creed,” Adler encouraged the efforts of individuals rather than formal institutions and ritualized traditions. The Society for Ethical Culture with its regular Sunday services and Adler’s humanistic addresses became th…

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…

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…

Plymouth Colony

(158 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] was a settlement of English Puritans in the southeast corner of Massachusetts. Under the leadership of pastor J. Robinson, English separates migrated first in 1603 from Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, to Holland. Despite freedom found there, they soon became worried about the education of their children. In September 1620, 41 settlers boarded the ship Mayflower, along with 61 others, for Virginia. Blown off course to the north, they landed on Cape Cod in November. Before disembarking, t…

Lightfoot, John

(155 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Mar 29, 1602, Stoke-upon-Trent, England – Dec 6, 1675, Ely) was a noted Hebraist, educated at Cambridge. He later became influenced by Sir Rowland Cotton, a lay student of Hebrew, and began studying Semitic languages. From 1629 onwards he published a series of works using his extensive knowledge of the Talmud to elucidate the Christian scriptures. From 1643 until his death he served both as rector of Much Munden, Hertfordshire, and as master of Catherine Hall, Cambridge. During t…

Otterbein, Philipp Wilhelm

(170 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] ( Jun 2, 1726, Dillenburg, Prussia – Nov 17, 1813, Baltimore, MD), German Reformed minister who became a founder of the United Brethren in Christ. Otterbein went to the United States in 1752 at the invitation of the German Reformed Pietist, Michael Schlatter (1718–1790). Otterbein had been educated in Calvinist and Pietist teachings at the Reformed University of Herborn (Reformed Colleges in Germany). In America, Otterbein energetically encouraged prayer meetings, recruited lay le…

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…

Common Sense Realism

(764 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] has two histories. The first concerns the effort by Thomas Reid (1710–1796) to refute the skeptical conclusions that D. Hume had drawn from the sensationalist epistemology of J. Locke. Reid's main argument was that sense perceptions, operating under normal conditions disclose the material world as it is.They are not, as Locke had suggested, merely “ideas.” Reid suggested rather that the human mind is structured in such a way that it is impossible to act…

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…

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…

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: …
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