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“Growth of Denominational Consciousness” by George Willis Cooke

Chapter IX: “Growth of Denominational Consciousness”

by George Willis Cooke

from Unitarianism in America

(AUA, 1902) pp. 224-46

The period 1880-1900 is often overlooked in Unitarian history. The so-called “Western issue” in the Western Unitarian Conference gains some attention, but that controversy may represent geographic interests as much as theological issues.…

“Ecclesiastical and Denominational Tendencies” By Grindall Reynolds

“Ecclesiastical and Denominational Tendencies”

by Grindall Reynolds

in Unitarianism: Its Origin and History

(American Unitarian Association, 1890)

Grindall Reynolds (1822 – 94) was ordained in 1848 and ten years later became minister in Concord, Massachusetts, where he served until his death.…

“People and Minister” By Edward Everett Hale

“People and Minister”

(1870)

by Edward Everett Hale

Edward Everett Hale (1822 -1909) served long (1856 – 99) as minister of South Congregational Church in Boston. He was a noted author and lecturer attaining a fame far beyond Unitarianism.

Hale’s sermon finds inclusion because it suggests a division of labor between congregants and minister.…

“The Destinies of Ecclesiastical Religion” By Frederic H. Hedge

“The Destinies of Ecclesiastical Religion”

by Frederic H. Hedge 

The Christian Examiner, January, 1867

This essay by “the original transcendentalist” (the first group was called Hedge’s Club) is fascinating for its wry descriptions of the transcendentalists by an inner critic.

But for this course more attention must be paid to Hedge’s defense of the church not only (peculiarly for a Unitarian) as a divine institution, but as more important than theology.…

“A Voice Without a Hand” By Stow Persons

“A Voice Without a Hand”

by Stow Persons

in Free Religion: An American Faith

(Yale University Press, 1947) pp. 75 – 98

What strengths and weaknesses are obvious in the FRA?

Was there an important principle in the FRA’s break with the AUA?…

The Battle of Syracuse By Edward T. Atkinson

“The Battle of Syracuse”

by Edward T. Atkinson

in The Unitarian Christian, Vol. 20, no. 1

February, 1965

Ed Atkinson has been a UU minister since 1964, settled in 1969 at Cohasset, Massachusetts.

The full article deals with the recognition of Christianity in our by-laws.…

“On the Alleged Unattractiveness of the Christian Pulpit” By Henry W. Bellows

“On the Alleged Unattractiveness of the Christian Pulpit”

Henry Whitney Bellows 

July, 1869, pp. 28-34

A constant refrain from the beginning of Unitarian doctrine to the present day is the “decline” in the number of good ministers. The article is mainly notable for Bellows description of the problem, but his reasons why the ministry did not attract might seem to many to have validity today.…

“The Reformed Church of Christendom or the Duties of Liberal Christians to the National Faith at this Crisis of Opinions” By Henry W. Bellows

“The Reformed Church of Christendom, or the Duties of Liberal Christians to the National Faith at this Crisis of Opinions”

by Henry Whitney Bellows

A Sermon at All Souls Church, New York January 8, 1865

The last section heralds changes in religion and proposes some specific steps for liberal Christianity to increase in numbers and influence.…

“Some Conditions of the Modern Ministry” By Samuel Hobart Winkley

“On Some Conditions of the Modern Ministry”

by Samuel Hobart Winkley

in The Christian Examiner, Vol. 82, January 1887

S. H. Winkley was ordained in 1846 and served for many years at Pitts Street Chapel in Boston. Evidently the spelling Winkley is a mistake in the magazine.…

“The Denominational Awakening” By George Willis Cooke

Chapter VIII: “The Denominational Awakening”

George Willis Cooke, Unitarianism in America

(AUA, 1902)

Cooke’s story begins with the burgeoning Unitarian movement post Civil War and then the disruptive story of a new theological battle and even organizational division.

  1. Looking back at the whole disruption from today, how could the dispute have been avoided?

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