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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…

Swift, Jonathan

(134 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Nov 30, 1667, Dublin – Oct 19, 1745, Dublin), Anglo-Irish satirist, poet, and patriot, studied at Trinity College (Dublin) before receiving his degree at Oxford (1692) and being ordained an Anglican clergyman (1695). From 1713 on, he served as dean of St. Patrick’s in Dublin. His graphic, forceful publications attacked Deism, dissenting Protestantism (Dissenters), scientific naturalism, and political corruption. His greatest satire, The Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World by Lemuel Gulliver (2 vols., 1726), used fanciful descriptions of i…

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 …
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