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In this second of a three-volume, comprehensive, landmark history, Gary Dorrien mixes theological and philosophical analyses with historical and biographical detail in interpreting the liberal era of American theology. Exploring American theological liberalism in its heyday, Dorrien emphasizes the diversity of liberal theologians and schools of thought, as well as the central importance of liberal debates over idealism, realism, naturalistic empiricism, and "making Christianity modern." Breaking with previous interpretations, he treats Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich as theorists of a "neoliberal" position within the liberal tradition.
In this book, the second of his three-volume history, Gary Dorrien explores American theological liberalism in its heyday--at the advent of the research university and the institutionally identified school. He argues that in its prime theological liberalism effected a creative blending of theological schools, featured a tension between its evangelical and modernist impulses, and was fueled by its expectation of social and cultural progress, until its optimism was subjected to withering internal criticism in the 1930s.
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