Social reform in the theology of Charles Grandison Finney
Vulgamore, Melvin L.
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The problem of this dissertation is to expound the major elements in the theology of Charles Grandison Finney, and to evaluate their significance for his thought about social reform. Primary attention throughout the larger portion of the work has been given to the descriptive phase of the task. Part One of the dissertation sets the stage for the discussion by tracing the socio-political thought currents in America in the first half of the nineteenth century, and by sketching the background of the theological revolution of the same period, the reaction against extreme Calvinism. Part Two pinpoints Finney in the midst of this scene with a chapter giving Finney's intellectual biography. A separate chapter then deals with Finney's distinctive doctrinal emphases. Another descriptive chapter traces Finney's thought about social reform against the background of his total theology. There follows an additional chapter which reconstructs Finney's conception of the church and attempts to relate this all-inclusive doctrine to his overall strategy for social reform in order that the implications of social reform as an element in Finney's theology might be more fully drawn and illustrated. The dissertation concludes with a detailed critical evaluation of the relation of Finney's theology to his thought on social reform and a statement of the conclusions in summary form. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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