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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…

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…

Sheen, Fulton John

(188 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (May 8, 1895, El Paso, IL – Dec 1, 1979, NY), the leading public voice for American Roman Catholicism for much of the 20th century. He was ordained a priest in 1919 and then did doctoral study at Louvain, Rome, and Washington, DC. From 1926 to 1950 he lectured in philosophy at the Catholic University of America, and from 1966 to 1969 he served as bishop of Rochester, New York. Sheen’s public renown began in 1930 as the featured speaker on “Catholic Hour Broadcasts” for NBC radio. …

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…

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…

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…

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), …

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 …

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…

Weld, Theodore Dwight

(140 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Nov 23, 1803, Hampton, CT – Feb 3, 1895, Hyde Park, MA) was a leading opponent of slavery (Abolitionism); he was converted in 1826 under the preaching of C.G. Finney. In 1834 he led a group of students out of Lane Seminary, Cincinnati, in order to found Oberlin College, the nation’s first institution of higher learning to welcome women. From the mid-1830s Weld was one of America’s best-known abolitionist orators; he made converts but also generated mob opposition. Worn out by his…

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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.

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…

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…

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…
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