American Protestant Theology: A Historical Sketch by Luigi Giussani

By Luigi Giussani

In American Protestant Theology, Luigi Giussani lines the heritage of the main significant theological expressions and the cultural value of yankee Protestantism, from its origins in seventeenth-century Puritanism to the Nineteen Fifties. Giussani clarifies and assesses components of Protestantism comparable to the democratic method of Church-State relatives, "The nice Awakening," Calvinism and Trinitarianism, and liberalism. His wealthy references and analytical descriptions reconstruct an outline of the improvement of a faith that has nice value within the context of non secular existence and American tradition. He additionally screens complete admire for the non secular intensity from which Protestantism was once born and the place it may well succeed in, and expresses nice admiration for its so much trendy thinkers and religious leaders, together with Jonathan Edwards, Horace Bushnell, Walter Rauschenbusch, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Paul Tillich. extra testomony to Giussani's clear-minded and finished wisdom of Christianity, American Protestant Theology makes the paintings of a grasp theologian on hand in English for the 1st time.

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Instead, the latter were formed in the school of the colonies. The Founding Fathers, indeed, immediately set about to secure a method for cultural education. ”40 In 1636, the “General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony” – the colony of the Pilgrim Fathers – voted for the foundation of a “College,” which opened its doors in 1640 and was baptized with the name of John Harvard (1607–1638). Harvard, a graduate of Cambridge, died of tuberculosis at a young age after one short year as minister at Charleston, whence he had emigrated, and had bequeathed half of his estate along with his library to the proposed school.

Indeed, in praxis and doctrine, the turn of the century saw the rigid Calvinist concept of God’s absolute dominion and his unconditional initiative threatened. II J o n at h a n Edwards 1 The “Great Awakening” and the Activity of Jonathan Edwards Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758), perhaps the greatest thinker America ever produced, stands as the defender of the absolute nature of divine sovereignty against all the liberalizing trends that diminished religious engagement favoured. His figure emerges along with the socio-religious phenomenon known as the “Great Awakening,” an extremely emotional revival of religious life that developed its greatest impetus from the preaching of Edwards, but as a movement anticipated and went beyond the sphere of action of his person, and in an almost periodic revival characterizes American religious history.

12 In his analysis of the phenomena that took place in the Revival, he finds fundamental and crucial features that correspond to the “sentiments” of renewed life described by St Paul: joy, contrition of heart, gratitude, compassion, zeal, love for Christ. ” The proof of true religion is in the emotion that characterizes such feelings. ”14 Edwards’ entire activity is based upon the empiricism of Locke, whose essay, Concerning Human Understanding, which Edwards read in his second year at Yale (1717), made such a decisive impression on him that he wrote a youthful work titled The Mind (or Notes on the Mind).

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