John Williamson Nevin: American Theologian
This study of the life and thought of John Williamson Nevin (1803-1886) offers a revised interpretation of an important nineteenth-century religious thinker. Along with the historian Phillip Schaff, Nevin was a leading exponent of what became known as the Mercersburg Movement, named for the college and theological seminary of the German Reformed Church located in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. The story is a neglected aspect of American studies. Wentz provides a kind of post-modern perspective on Nevin, presenting him as a distinctively American thinker, rather than as a reactionary romantic. Although influenced by German philosophy, historical studies, and theology, Nevin's thought was a profound response to the American public context of his day. He was, in many respects, a public theologian, judging the prevailing development of American Christianity as a new religion that was fashioning its own disintegration and that of American culture at large. Nevin's reinterpretation of catholicity in the American context opened the way for a radical understanding of religion and of American public life.
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abstract according to Nevin American religion American Republic American theology Anxious Bench appositional become Bellah Binkley Brownson's catechism Catholicism character Charles Grandison Finney Charles Hodge Christ claims constitution of grace context course creation creed culture dialectic divine doctrine Dorner essay Eucharist existence experience fact faith Finney German Reformed Church gospel Heidelberg Catechism Horace Bushnell human Ibid Incarnation John Nevin John Williamson Nevin liturgy living Marshall College means Mercersburg Review Mercersburg Theology mind mission moral movement mystery Mystical Presence mystical union nation Nevin's theology Nevin's thought nineteenth century nurtured objective Orestes Brownson outward person perspective Philip Schaff pietistic political Princeton principle private judgment Protestant Protestantism radical catholicity rationalistic reality redemption represented response revivalism ritual Roman Roman Catholicism sacramental salvation Sect System sectarian sense separately considered significance social soul supernatural symbolic systematic theologian thinkers thinking tion tradition true truth University Press utilitarian utilitarian individualism wholeness wrote Nevin