The theology of Phillips Brooks
Minyard, Alfred Benson
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The purpose of this dissertation is to expound the theology of Phillips Brooks as it is set forth in his writings, published and unpublished, for the contri bution which his thought may make, not to the field of technical theology, but to the use of doctrine in the nurture of souls. The problem in such a study is that of drawing from his non-technical language, more illustrative than definitive, the specific meanings which differentiate one school of theology from another. Part I is a survey of Brooks's theology as a whole. He chose, as the expression of his peculiar genius, to devote himself to the translation of doctrine in terms of life. Identified with the broad, evangelical elements in the Episcopal Church, he held generally to the words of creedal orthodoxy while giving them such a breadth of interpretation as to bring him to a position in harmony with the "New Theology" of the last half of the nineteenth century. Running through all his writings are certain conceptual principles which stand as presuppositions and ruling factors in his thought: the immediateness of the divine influence, the sanctity of the common life, the naturalness of the ideal, the dignity and worth of t he human soul, and the supremacy of the spiritual over the formal. On the basis of these principles, Brooks reduced the essentials of Christian doctrine to these four ideas: (1) the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man: (2) the redemption of man by Christ; (3) the perfectibility of the soul; and (4) the immortality of hunan life [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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