John Williamson Nevin, American Theologian
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John Williamson Nevin, American Theologian

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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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 178 pages
  • 161.5 x 237.7 x 18.3mm | 462.67g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195082435
  • 9780195082432

Review quote

A thoughtful, scholarly reinterpretation....Wentz's work should be read by today's theologians whose penchant for relevance needs the correction of Nevin, who reminds us that our own great traditions, rightly understood and intelligently appropriated, can be just as revelant as the issues of today's world. * Religious Studies Review *show more

Back cover copy

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. Richard 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.show more

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