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“Remarks on Associations,” by William Ellery Channing

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“Remarks on Associations”

William Ellery Channing

in The Works of William Ellery Channing. Vol. I

(American Unitarian Association, 1903) pp. 302 – 09

William Ellery Channing

William Ellery Channing

William Ellery Channing wished the new American Unitarian Association well, but refused its presidency in 1825. A few years later he gave his views on Associations and indirectly suggested his reservations for organized Unitarianism. This brief excerpt gives Channing’s key arguments, which may be followed here fully in his total “Remarks.” His later (1841) discourse on “The Church” also helps illuminate his institutional views.

  1. What is Channing’s chief fear of associations?
  2. What arguments might be used against Channing’s position?
  3. Is individualism the great strength or weakness of the Unitarian movement?

The full text of Channing’s “Remarks” can be found online via Google Books. The relevant excerpt begins on this page: 302-09.