Harvard Divinity School at the Turn of the 20th Century

"In June, 1872, I had completed the prescribed course of theological study in the Harvard Divinity School and had received its degree. It had been a disheartening experience of uninspiring study and retarded thought. The fresh breeze of modern thought rarely penetrated the lecture-rooms, and a student found the intellectual atmosphere unexhilarating to breathe. One half of the first year was devoted to the rudiments of the Hebrew language, at the end of which linguistic discipline one could, with the English text well in mind, stumblingly translate the first chapter of Genesis and the twenty-third Psalm; an achievement soon recognized as not contributing materially to the equipment of a modern minister, and therefore promptly forgotten. The Old and New Testaments were presented as material for textual analysis rather than for spiritual inspiration; and theology and ethics were subjects of ecclesiastical erudition and doctrinal desiccation. Now and then the windows were opened to let in the fresh air of teaching by visiting professors; but the only instruction I can recall with positive gratitude was a brief series of familiar talks on the practical duties of the pastor's life, given by a newly appointed professor, who had so lately transferred himself from the pastorate to academic life that he had not lost the human touch or the poetic mood. In a word, education for a profession was in its method and aims not essentially different from the pedagogical plan of an elementary school."

So Francis Greenwood Peabody remembered his days at the Divinity School in his Reminiscences of Present-day Saints (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1927. Pp. 65-66). How remarkably different was the School when he became Dean in 1901! The Divinity School was an exciting place to be; it was alive, active, and interesting.

What accounted for this change?

1. A Harvard President with a vision:

During his years as President of Harvard (1869-1909), Charles W. Eliot took an active interest in the Divinity School. He helped to raise its standards of admission and graduation as well as getting it on sound financial footing. He oversaw its development, as he later wrote, "from a local School, undenominational in principle but in fact supported and used only by Unitarians, into a broad School of Scientific Theology and independent research." He saw an important role for the Divinity School within the University: "A university without a Faculty of Theology seems to me to have abandoned one of the most fruitful fields of human inquiry, to have rejected the company of some of the noblest minds which the race has brought forth, and to be deprived of means of influence which are as legitimate as they are potent."

2. A great Dean:

Eliot's appointment of Charles Carroll Everett as Dean in 1879 was a wise choice. Throughout his over 21 years as Dean, he worked hard to transform the School and championed its cause in the University and beyond. 

3. New and more Faculty:

When Everett began teaching in 1869, there were only three other Faculty members. When he died in 1900, there were nine, including a Baptist and two orthodox Congregationalists.

4. A revised curriculum:

In 1883 the elective system was formally introduced. The number of courses rapidly increased, and new areas of study were begun such as comparative religion, psychology of religion, and social service. In 1897, Divinity School students were allowed to take courses in the College to broaden their educational experience.

5. A more diverse student body:

In 1904, the Alumni Association reported: "One very interesting phase of the school is the increasing resort of it of men from the South, and from the Southern and Central West, particularly from the Methodists and Christian Disciples." The geographical and denominational diversity was not the only one affecting the classes. A large number of students in the College took courses in the Divinity School, and beginning in 1895, Radcliffe students were allowed to take classes (this arrangement caused the Alumni Association to withdraw its request that women be admitted to the School; they were not allowed as degree candidates until 1955).

 

This exhibit takes a look at the Divinity School in the last decade of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th. Building projects, the Faculty, special events, and the students in the School in 1895 are featured.


The "live" version (Nov.-Dec. 1999) of this exhibit was prepared by Clifford Wunderlich, with the help of Caleb Elfenbein, with thanks to Tim Driscoll and others who made it possible to finally present it. The online version, with additional texts and illustrations, was also prepared by Clifford Wunderlich; please send comments, corrections, etc., to him.

In addition to works cited, information for this exhibit came from the following sources:

Foundations for a Learned Ministry: Catalogue of an Exhibition on the Occasion of the One Hundred Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the Divinity School, Harvard University. Cambridge, Mass., 1992.

Harvard Divinity School Dean's Reports in Harvard University Archives and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Archives. Harvard/Radcliffe Online Historical Reference Shelf. Cambridge, Mass: President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2001. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.eresource:hronhirf 

The Harvard Divinity School: Its Place in Harvard University and in American Culture. Edited by George H. Williams. Boston: Beacon Press, 1954. 

The Development of Harvard University since the Inauguration of President Eliot, 1869-1929 (The Tercentennial History of Harvard College and University, 1636-1936). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1930.

Building Projects

Divinity LibraryNew Divinity Library

Divinity HallDivinity Hall

Andover HallAndover Hall

The New Library

The school's first separate library building was constructed in 1886-87 near Divinity Hall. Designed by the Boston architectural firm of Peabody and Stearns, it had thick brick walls with brownstone trimmings and Gothic ornamental details, iron staircases, gables and chimneys, and a masonry porch. When its building was proposed, Acting Dean Francis G. Peabody suggested it should be part of a "Divinity quadrangle." Today the building is part of the Harvard University Herbaria at 20 Divinity Avenue.

The following extracts from the annual HDS Dean's Reports chronicle the Library's progress:

Dean's Report, 1883/84: The number of bound volumes was found to be larger than previous estimates had indicated, owing to the fact that in former enumerations, pamphlets after being bound had still been reckoned as pamphlets and not as volumes. The card-catalogue increased slowly during the year and a beginning was made in a card subject-catalogue.

I canot omit reference to the generous donation by Mrs. Ezra of a large part of Dr. Abbot's library, the gift including nearly four thousand volumes. Mrs. Abbot, without making any formal condition upon which the gift depends, yet states in her letter of donation that she should be glad to be assured of two things: first, that the collection shall be kept, under the title of the Ezra Abbot Library, so far intact as is consistent with its usefulness; second, that there shall be secured as soon as possible for this collection, and for the rest of the Divinity School library, a more adequate and safe place of deposit. The nature of the collection will probably make it easy to fulfil to a large extent the first of these requests. The second brings to light a need of the School that has been long felt and which is made by this gift more pressing, that of a fire-proof library distinct from Divinity Hall, but easily accessible from it. This is important for the preservation of our books, for the encouragement of future donations, and for making possible the transferance from Gore Hall of volumes important to students of Theology. Such transferance is made to some departmental libraries to the great advantage of students in these departments. It cannot be done in the case of Divinity library, as the risk from fire is too great.

Among the donations received during the last year may be men-tioned an anonymous gift of $750, and a gift of $450 from George S. Hale, Esq. This latter amount is, at the request of Mr. Hale, devoted to the purchase of books for the library.

Dean's Report, 1884/85: The Progress of the Scheme for a New Library Building

This demand, it will be remembered, was made imperative by the gift of the Ezra Abbot library. During the past year satisfactory plans have been secured, the estimates for which amount to $35,000. Individual subscriptions, and the gift of the Society for Promoting Theological Education, have reached a sum within ten thousand dollars of the amount needed, and it is safe to hope that the building will be erected during the summer of 1886. It seems best to urge, however, that this is not the end of the expenditure on buildings which the School immediately needs. It is absolutely necessary that Divinity Hall should be so renovated as to make it a modern and attractive building. The Divinity School deserves to be as well housed as the rest of the University, and it is at present in great contrast with all other departments. It should be, in my opinion, the purpose of the Corporation to utilize for the Divinity School the square of ground which lies behind Divinity Hall, and to develop it into a quadrangle of the same general form as the quadrangle of the Agassiz Museum. Of this space, Divinity Hall would form the front, the new library building should be the north side and would be connected with Divinity Hall by a covered passage. On the south side should be placed a new and more commodious chapel, and the rear should be for the present left open to the woods beyond. (Francis G. Peabody, Acting Dean)

Dean's Report, 1885/86: The most marked event of the year was the laying the foundation of a new building to contain fire-proof accommodation for the library, a reading-room and lecture-rooms. The generosity of the friends of the School which made this erection possible is most gratefully acknowledged. A list of gifts and donors will be found in the Treasurer's report. Special mention should be made, however, of the great service rendered by the Society for Promoting Theological Education. This society, to which the School has been so much indebted from the time of its first independent existence, entered most heartily into the work, made a generous appropriation of the funds that are in its hands, and appointed a committee of its members, who cooperated effectually with the acting Dean in his energetic and successful efforts to raise the money necessary for this building. The commencement of the work was delayed by the disturbances in labor which in the last year interrupted so much of the business of the country, but it will probably be completed during the current year. ...

The Librarian reports an addition to the library during the year of 539 volumes; 380 volumes were, however, sold during the year, these being duplicate copies which were not needed. The net increase in volumes is thus 180. By this sale the sum of $150 was realized, which will be expended in the purchase of new books. The library contains at present 17,569 volumes and 2308 pamphlets. This statement does not include nearly 4000 volumes, which formed a part of the library of the. late Professor Ezra Abbot, and which, as was stated in a former report, were presented to the Library of the Divinity School by Mrs. Abbot. Although these books belong to the library they cannot actually form a part of it until the building now in process of construction shall be completed.

Dean's Report, 1887/1888: In 1887-88 the School enjoyed for the first time the use of the new library building. It proved both pleasant and convenient, and now appears to have been indispensable to the best work of the School. The use of the library has increased at least three-fold since the change.

By the erection of the new building, the space in Divinity Hall that had been given up to the library and to lecture rooms was set at liberty. With the exception of the Chapel, Divinity Hall is now entirely used for students' chambers. By the change six additional room are gained, and one room that, had ben encroached upon by a lecture room was restored to its original proportions. The addition to the rent of the building that comes from these sources is $350. ...

The removal of the library to the new building made imperative what had long been desirable, a new arrangement and cataloguing of the books. The last year all the books were classified and arranged upon the shelves in accordance with the classification. They were also relabeled within and without. All needful preparations were made for commencing a card-catalogue this year. The School is indebted to the experience, ingenuity, and efficiency of the librarian, D. J. H.. Ward, Ph.D., for much of the success with which these changes have been accomplished. Professor Thayer, the chairman of the Library Committee, has also given much time and thought to the matter.

Dean's Report, 1888/89: The new library proved itself even more useful than in the preceding year. During the latter part of the year it was open in the evening, as well as during the day, and was largely frequented. The use of this room has been extended to College students taking Divinity School courses, for which no books are reserved in Gore Hall; to clergymen resident in Cambridge, and to students in the Episcopal Theological School. This last provision was made in response to a petition from two or three members of that School that they might be allowed to make such use of the library.

The "Faculty-room," which serves also as the Dean's office, proves a great convenience. The Dean is there at a certain time every day; and the room being directly opposite to the reading-room, it easy and natural for the students to have communication with him. The need is already felt, however, of a larger lecture-room, as it is very desirable that all the lectures which primarily belong to the Divinity School should be given in connection with it. The large attendance of College students renders this, in some cases, impossible. It would be well if there could be found a way to throw two of the lecture-rooms together when a larger hall is needed.

The School received the last year from Mr. Stephen Salisbury of Worcester a valuable gift of 65 Babylonian written tablets.  Of such tablets there are now about 150 in the collection of the school, including six which belong to the University.  It is greatly to be desired that these might serve as the nucleus of a Semitic Museum, in which Palestinian antiquities and other objects of interest should have a prominent place ...

The work of cataloguing was continued during the year.  Though this involvrs an expenditure which the School at present can ill afford, it is a work of absolute necessity.


Dean's Report, 1889/90: Of the accessions 192 volumes and 1 pamphlet were purchased. The most important gift of the year was that of 47 volumes by bequest of Rev. William Silsbee. This was increased by the gift of 22 volumes made by his widow from his library. Books and pamphlets (of the latter 1383) were given by Mrs. Henry W. Foote from the library of her late husband. Similar gifts from the library of Dr. Hedge were made by his children. 30 volumes and 43 pamphlets were received from the American Unitarian Association, through which gift we have all of the publications of this Association which are now in print.

The important work of cataloguing the Library has been diligent carried on during the year. The object of the catalogue is not merely to enable a person to obtain books, the titles and authors of which., knows, but also to make it possible for any one wishing to consult Library in regard to any topic to learn what is the help which Library can give him. Books are thus catalogued, not only as title and author; there is also given, so far as important books and subjects are concerned, some analysis of their contents. To take and obvious example, one studying in regard to the authorship of the fourth Gospel might perhaps have no idea that in Ezra Abbot's "Critical Essays" is contained one of the most important discussions of this subject. In the new catalogue, under the appropriate heading, reference will be made to this and to other discussions that are worth consulting. This analysis obviously requires to be made very fully and with great judgment. It requires, also, learning both general and special. We are fortunate in having to conduct this work a librarian so well fitted for it as Robert S. Morison, A.M., a graduate of the School. This work involves an expenditure which the School is hardly able to bear, but the need is so pressing that the work cannot be deferred. From the nature of the case the process is a slow one, especially as those engaged in it have other duties in connection with the Library. During the year 3180 volumes were cataloged.

The greater part of the use of the Library is that of the reserved books in the reference room; of this no statistics can be given. From October 1st, 1889, to June 30th, 1890, there were taken from stack 758 volumes, and from the reserved books, for use over night, 665 volumes. There was a tolerably steady increase, month by month, in the number of books borrowed from the stack. The number of such books in October this year was more than a third larger than that in October, 1889.

In my last report reference was made to the value of objects illustrating Biblical subjects. Since that time a gift of money has been announced from Mr. Jacob H. Schiff to the University for the beginning of a Semitic museum. While this museum will have no organic connection with the School, its resources will always be at the service of Divinity Students, and cannot fail to increase interest among us in the study of the Bible. The School may congratulate itself on having within easy reach collections so intimately connected with Biblical peoples and history.

Renovating Divinity Hall

Divinity Hall was dedicated on August 29, 1826. In the later part of the 19th century various renovations are mentioned in the HDS Dean's Reports. In 1882/83: "Summer before last the chapel was refurnished and decorated ... [This] last summer ... the entries have been made much brighter ... and ... the vestibules have been enlarged. ... the field at the north of the building has been levelled. This ... will in time furnish a very convenient place for out-of-door sports." In 1892/93: "Steam heat has been introduced ... into the hallways and the Chapel and excellent bathrooms have been added on the two lower floors ...."

Divinity Hall ChapelDivinity Hall ChapelIn 1904, the Chapel was completely renovated. The architect was A.W. Longfellow, Jr. (1854-1934), nephew of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. After graduating from Harvard, he entered the new architecture program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  After additional study in Paris in 1879-1881, he apprenticed with H. H. Richardson.  From 1886 to 1896, he was in partnership with Frank Alden and Alfred Harlow in a firm that designed in both Boston and Pittsburgh.  From 1896 to 1923, he worked on his own.  In Boston he designed the now demolished stations on the elevated railroad (1898/1902) and the elegant Eben Draper House on Beacon Street (1904); he redesigned the apse and pulpit of the Arlington Street Church (1910).  He designed Phillips Brooks House (1897-1899) and the Semitic Museum (1902) at Harvard and Agassiz House (1904) and Bertram Hall (1901) at Radcliffe. He designed Winthrop Hall (1892) at the Episcopal Theological (now Divinity) School and many houses in the Brattle Street neighborhood. He was active in the Boston Architectural Club and the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts.  Longfellow was featured in Margaret Henderson Floyd's recent book Architecture after Richardson (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994).

HDS Dean's Report, 1903/04: Divinity Hall has been much improved during the year. The renovation of the Chapel has been completed, and it is now a dignified and beautiful place of worship. Tablets of marble or oak have been set, in the walls in memory of Professor Hedge, Professor Thayer, and the Rev. Edmund Sears, and to recall the delivery in the Chapel of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Divinity School Address. To these are soon to be added memorials of Dean Everett and Professor Henry Ware, Jr. There has also been added to the equipment of Divinity Hall a modern bathroom with four slate-lined shower baths, and the hallway floors have been in part relaid. These changes, together with the provision of the Common Room for all occupants of the Hall, tennis courts at the rear, and the advantages of the Library and Reading Room, have made Divinity Hall one of the most attractive dormitories in the University. An instructive experiment has been undertaken in reserving the right of occupancy to students approved by the Dean, with a preference given to graduate students and professional students having some sympathy with the purpose of the School, and the result is the creation of a congenial group of mature men, who find in the building a pleasant Centre of companionship. It seems not unreasonable that a similar plan, which may give to each dormitory or group of dormitories a certain stamp of interest or sympathy, might be applied to other Schools of the University with success.

HDS Dean's Report, 1898/99: During the last summer two changes were made in Divinity Hall from which good results are anticipated. Twenty rooms were supplied with simple and substantial furniture, a small addition being made to the rent of each. The furnishing of these rooms seemed especially desirable from the fact that so many of our students come only for a year. The other change referred to was the arrangement of what will be known as the "Common Room." The partition between two rooms was taken away and they were redivided so as to form a larger and a smaller room opening into one another by large doors. The smaller room will be used as a reading room, and the larger for social purposes. The rooms are furnished in an attractive manner. This arrangement was made possible by money given to the President and Fellows of Harvard College, shortly after his graduation from the school in 1872, by Rev. John William Quinby. This money was to be expended under the direction of the Faculty of the Divinity School; and it seemed to that body that no expenditure of a portion of it, together with the interest that had accumulated, could be more useful to the school and more honorable to the giver than this. An inscription will commemorate the generosity that made this extremely pleasant feature of the school possible.

HDS Dean's Report, 1901/02: The Divinity School is the only department in the University having its own dormitory. This fact has, however, not always been to the advantage of the School. Divinity students have found themselves segregated from the main movement of university life, and since Divinity Hall is an inexpensive lodging-place, rooms not occupied by Divinity students have, as a rule, been taken by College students who were willing to sacrifice comfort for economy. The building has thus for many years been in disfavor among many students of the University; and the school has borne the reputation of being the report of few who could live elsewhere. The brevity of a college tradition is illustrated by the fact that in a half-dozen years Divinity Hall has been transformed into one of the most popular dormitories, and is now occupied by a select and congenial colony. A pleasant Common-Room makes a meeting place for all occupants of the Hall, a large bath-room with four slate compartments for shower-baths, and a reserved tennis court are provided; and application for residence by students not members of the School must be approved by the Dean. Students of the Graduate School and the professional schools are preferred in these applications, which are now in excess of the capacity of the Hall. The establishment of a social center within a dormitory, and the giving of a specific character to dormitory life, is not without instructiveness for the administration of other University buildings.

Building Andover Hall

Architectural Sketch of Andover Hall, Allen and Collens, Architects. From: Bacon, Edwin M. Boston: A Guide Book. Prepared for the Convention of the National Educational Association, July 6-10, 1903. Boston: Ginn & Company, 1903. 

 Despite the alienation of a century earlier, bonds between the Andover Theological Seminary and the Harvard Divinity School had grown stronger through the years, and by 1906, when Andover felt a decline in attendance and a lack of resources, the Seminary entered into consultation with Harvard University about a possible affiliation and a plan of affiliation was agreed upon in 1908. The Seminary built Andover Hall, which was completed in 1911 at a cost of $300,000. It was designed by the firm of Allen and Collens, which specialized in ecclesiastical and neo-medieval designs. They also designed Riverside Church (1930) and The Cloisters (1938) in New York City. After the plan of affiliation was dissolved, Harvard bought Andover Hall in 1935.

When it was built, Andover Hall contained a library, lecture and seminar rooms, a chapel, professors' studies, administrative offices, and dormitory rooms. The style is called "Collegiate Gothic"; it is Harvard's only example of this style.

Address of President Fitch and Secretary Platner Andover Theological Seminary, Cambridge, Massachusetts:

Two years have passed since Andover Theological Seminary, after one hundred years of useful service on Andover Hill, was removed to Cambridge. In that time it has adjusted itself to its new surroundings, purchased a valuable tract of land, and laid the corner stone of its commodious and beautiful building, which it hopes to occupy by the autumn of 1911.

The experience of these two years and the present outlook have conwinced those who are most intimately associated with the Seminary that the removal was wise, and that the prospects for increasing usefulness are most encouraging.

By the terms of affiliation agreed upon by the Trustees of the Seminary and the Corporation of Harvard University, the Trustees and Visitors retain entire control of the Seminary; they appoint and confirm the professors and administer all the trusts. The Seminary is to have its own chapel and lecture rooms, and conduct, so far as seems desirable its own religious services and social and religious organizations.

At the same time the relation established with the University grants to the Andover professors the opportunity of giving instruction to students enrolled in the Divinity School and other departments of the University, thus increasing the size and interest of their classes and enlarging the sphere of their influence. The Andover students also have the privilege of taking courses in the classes of Harvard professors, thus securing a variety and completeness of educational facilities which could never be provided in a country village.

By a mutually satisfactory arrangement, the libraries of the Seminary and the Divinity School are to be combined and placed in the Andover building. This will be a bond of union between the two schools and will provide one of the most complete theological libraries in the country.

The teachers and students of the Seminary have been cordially invited to share in the religious services and work of the University, and the churches and religious and charitable societies in Cambridge, Boston, and neighboring cities and towns offer many opportunities for Christian culture and Christian service.

President George Harris, D.D.LL.D., Amherst, President of the Board of Trustees
Albert Parker Fitch, D.D., President of Faculty
John Winthrop Platner, D.D., Secretary of the Faculty

 

Architectural sketch and address of Fitch and Platner from: Boston, a Guide Book, by Edwin M. Bacon. Boston: Ginn, special revised edition, Sept. 1910, prepared for the 14th session of the National Council of Congregational Churches. Boston: Ginn & Company, 1903.

The Deans

Charles Carroll EverettCharles Carroll EverettFrancis Greenwood PeabodyFrancis Greenwood PeabodyWilliam Wallace FennWilliam Wallace Fenn

Charles Carroll Everett

  • Bussey Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, 1869-1900
  • Dean of the Faculty of Divinity, 1878-1900


Charles Carroll Everett was born in Brunswick, Maine, on 19 June 1829, the son of Ebenezer Everett, a lawyer and the first cousin of the orator and statesman Edward Everett, and Joanna Bachelder Prince Everett. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1850. After graduation, he studied at the Bowdoin Medical College and in Berlin under Hegel's successor, Georg Andreas Gabler. From 1853 to 1857 he taught modern languages at Bowdoin (for the last three years he was also Librarian), and his tenure was vetoed by the Overseers because he was a Unitarian. He then entered Harvard Divinity School and graduated in 1859. He served as minister of the Independent Congregational (Unitarian) Church in Bangor, Maine, from 1859 to 1869. In 1869, he published his The Science of Thought, a treatise on the principles of human thought, that attracted the attention of the Harvard Corporation, who that year called him to the Bussey Professorship. As early as 1872, he taught a course in "East Asiatic Religions," perhaps the first course in comparative religions given in the United States. His two regular courses in theology were "The Psychological Elements of Religious Faith" and "Theism and the Christian Faith."

Everett was a neo-Hegelian. "First in the lectures of Professor Gabler," he wrote, "and afterwards in the works of Hegel himself, I found the rudiments of a system of logic that charmed me with its beauty and simplicity." His works show the broad range of his interests: Religions before Christianity (1883), Fichte's Science of Knowledge (1884), Essays on Poetry, Comedy, and Duty (1888), Ethics for Young People (1891), and The Gospel of Paul (1893). A collection of his essays, Essays, Theological and Literary, was published (1901) after his death.

From his youth, he was "of a delicate constitution" and blind in one eye. When during his term as Dean, the Harvard faculty proposed to have each applicant pass a physical examination and give promise of living long enough to justify the investment, he gently noted that such an examination would have ruled him out and that his parents were themselves in doubt whether he was "worth raising." The motion was promptly withdrawn.

Known as a consummate teacher, he was remembered by many students as one of the greatest inspirations in their lives. F. G. Peabody remembered him this way: "It was permitted to a generation of students for the ministry to be guided and restrained by a character so self-effacing as never to be conspicuous, yet so convincing as to communicate both thought and life."

Sources of information:

American National Biography. Edited by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999 Francis G. Peabody, Reminiscences of Present-day Saints. Boston; New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1927.

Francis Greenwood Peabody

  • Lecturer in Ethics and Homiletics, 1880-81
  • Parkman Professor of Theology, 1881-86
  • Preacher to the University, 1886-1906
  • Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, 1886-1912
  • Dean of the Faculty of Divinity, 1901-06


Francis Greenwood Peabody was born in Boston on December 4, 1847, to Mary Jane Derby and Ephraim Peabody, a Unitarian minister. After Ephraim Peabody's untimely death, his former congregation provided the funds for his son's education. The younger Peabody graduated from Harvard College (1869) and received degrees from the Divinity School (1872) and from the Graduate School (1872). Peabody's studies at Harvard were but the beginning of a long relationship.

After a brief time as chaplain and teacher at Antioch College in Ohio, Peabody served as minister at the First Parish in Cambridge (Unitarian). In 1880, Peabody became a lecturer on ethics and homiletics; while at Harvard, he also served as the Parkman Professor of Theology (1881-86), Preacher to the University (1886-1906), Plummer Professor of Christian Morals (1886-1912) and the Dean of the Divinity School (1901-06).

Peabody's work at Harvard was spread over many areas of University life, though his most lasting influence lies in his introduction of social ethics at the Divinity School and, later, through a University Department of Social Ethics. Among students his course was better known as "Peabo's drainage, drunkenness, and divorce." He stressed the need to study the religious and social implications of the changes brought about by the industrialization process. He championed social science methodology and the case method and offered liberal interpretations of the New Testament that reflected a call to ameliorate the dislocation of industrialization. In his teaching, preaching and writing, he portrayed a religious tradition that stressed members as agents of social change, de-emphasizing personal salvation in favor of social action.

Peabody led the successful effort at Harvard to have daily religious service attendance be optional (the first traditional U.S. college to do so) and nonsectarian. Though criticized by some for this effort ("God has become an elective at Harvard," his critics cried), Peabody was a respected preacher, having his university sermons published in five volumes. Peabody also authored many books, including Jesus Christ and the Social Questions (1900) and Jesus Christ and the Christian Character (1905).

He was instrumental in the foundation of Phillips Brooks House at Harvard, the Prospect Union in Cambridge, and the Social Museum of Harvard University.

In 1872 Peabody married Cora Weld (1848-1914).

 

Additional source of information:

American National Biography. Edited by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

William Wallace Fenn

  • Bussey Professor of Theology, 1901-32
  • Dean of the Faculty of Divinity, 1906-22


William Wallace Fenn was born in Boston on February 12, 1862, to Hannah Morrill Osgood and William Fenn, who died only seven weeks after his son's birth. Fenn graduated from Harvard in 1884 and received an AM and STB (bachelor of sacred theology) from the Divinity School in 1887. He had entered the Divinity School "not ... with the design of becoming a minister, but rather with a view to the teaching of N. T. Greek."

Raised in an orthodox congregationalist (and known as one while a student at the Divinity School), Fenn had begun to question beliefs as he studied the Bible. He was not, however, sure he wanted to become a Unitarian: "The Orthodox won't have me for I have declared my heresy and the Unitarians don't want my kind of man." Ordained a Unitarian minister in 1890, Fenn served parishes in Pittsfield and Chicago from 1887 to 1901. In Chicago, Fenn began his teaching career at the Meadville Theological School. While teaching at Meadville, Fenn articulated a functional and pragmatic approach to religion; in so doing, he levied criticism against liberal optimism, questioning its ability to deal with human suffering.

In 1901, Fenn was named that Bussey Professor of Systematic Theology at Harvard (although he had no background in the area). From 1906 to 1922 Fenn was the Dean of the Divinity School and received his STD (doctor of sacred theology) from the school in 1908. He also served on the University's Board of Preachers for five years (non-consecutively).

At Harvard, Fenn stressed a "General Theism," which questioned many ideas that later became important in Christian theology: humanism and the centrality of the historical Jesus in liberal strains of Christian thought. Fenn was also known for his keen sense of humor; one of his most popular lecture topics was "The Humor of the Bible." As a teacher he was remembered this way: "He made us feel that together with him, amid the generous bequests of philosophers and theologians we were seeking for the hidden treasure of great souls, -- not so much the knowledge as the wisdom by which men live."

Fenn's other scholarly work centered on religious life in New England, with The Religious History of New England: King's Chapel Lectures (1917), and The Christian Way of Life as Illustrated in the History of Religion in New England (1924).

Additional sources of information:

American National Biography. Edited by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999
William Wallace Fenn: His Journal, Together with Pertinent Letters and News Items. Concord, Mass.: Dorothy Fenn Duncan, 1973.
Robert Burns Street, "Speaking for the Class of 1914," Harvard Divinity Bulletin, v. 28, no. 4 (July 1964), p. 105-106.

Other Faculty

 

Crawford Howell ToyCrawford Howell Toy

David Gordon LyonDavid Gordon Lyon

Edward Caldwell MooreEdward Caldwell Moore

George Foot MooreGeorge Foot Moore

Joseph Henry ThayerJoseph Henry Thayer

James Hardy RopesJames Hardy Ropes

Ephraim EmertonEphraim Emerton

Crawford Howell Toy

  • Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages, 1880-1909

Born on March 23, 1836, in Norfolk, Virginia, Crawford Howell Toy enjoyed a privileged upbringing. His mother, Amelia Ann (Rogers) Toy, was a granddaughter of a Revolutionary officer. Toy's father, Thomas Dallam Toy, was a respected pharmacist.

After graduating from the University of Virginia in 1856, Toy taught at the Albermarle Female Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia. Following this, Toy began studying at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Greenville, South Carolina, a move that started his long association with the first Southern Baptist seminary in the country.

Toy's studies were interrupted by the Civil War, where he first served as an infantryman and then as a chaplain. In 1863, a friend of Toy's provided information on Toy's tenure with the Confederate army: "He is chaplain in the 53d Georgia Regiment.... Is looking very well and seems to be enjoying himself. His Syriac books are in Norfolk and he has, therefore, been compelled to fall back on German for amusement." At one point during the conflict, Toy was captured and held at Fort McHenry. David Gordon Lyon described Toy's time at McHenry in his 1920 eulogy to Toy in the Harvard Theological Review: "The tedium of this confinement was relieved by the glee club, the daily mock dress parade with tin pans for drums, and the class in Italian, organized and taught by him."

Following his release, Toy began teaching at the University of Alabama (a Confederate training school), where he remained until the close of the war in 1865. Following the war, Toy taught Greek at the University of Virginia for a year and then traveled to Germany to study theology, Sanskrit, and Semitic languages. After studying in Berlin for two years, Toy accepted an offer from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, thus returning to the school at which he had studied ten years earlier.

While at the Seminary, Toy spent ten years teaching Old Testament interpretation and Semitic languages. He was a well-respected member of the faculty and of the larger community. Toward the end of his tenure, however, Toy came into conflict with the Seminary's administration and Southern Baptist orthodoxy by raising questions about the doctrine of the divine inspiration of the Bible. Toy resigned, and the Seminary accepted his resignation in 1879.

In September of 1880, Toy began teaching at Harvard as the Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages and Dexter Lecturer on Biblical Literature. Toy taught many languages at the Divinity School, including Arabic, Ethiopic and Hebrew. W. W. Fenn remembered him this way: "I do not believe he ever made a student feel cheap at having asked a silly question or given a stupid answer. Dr. Toy would receive his question with the utmost graciousness, stroke his beard reflectively as if it were an inquiry calling for serious deliberation, restate it, put it in a slightly different form, relate it to other matters, and finally after much manipulation the question would come out one of the most significant problems in the entire realm of O.T. criticism and a student would pat himself on the back for his penetration." While at Harvard, Toy wrote Judaism and Christianity: A Sketch of the Progress of Thought from Old Testament to New Testament (1890), A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Proverbs (1899), and Introduction to the History of Religions (1913). After eight years at Harvard, Toy joined First Parish Unitarian Church in Cambridge, leaving the Southern Baptist tradition of his youth and early career. He died May 12, 1919.

 

Additional sources of information:

Dictionary of American Biography. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1928-1958.
Lyon, David G. "Crawford Howell Toy," Harvard Theological Review, v. 13, no. 1  (Jan.-Oct. 1920), p. 1-22.
"Notice of the Death of Professor Crawford Howell Toy," American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, v. 36, no. 1 (Oct. 1919)

David Gordon Lyon

  • Hollis Professor of Divinity, 1882-1910
  • Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages, 1910-20

David Gordon Lyon was born in Benton, Alabama, on May 24, 1852, the son of Dr. Isaac and Caroline Arnold Lyon. He received an AB degree from Howard College in 1875. He studied at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, but when Toy resigned, he went to study in Germany with Friedrich Delitzsch. He received a PhD from Leipzig in 1882.

His appointment as Hollis Professor of Divinity in 1882 was due largely as a result of Toy's sponsorship. (It took some urging appointing an Assyriologist to this position. On the other hand, the chair had been given by a Baptist so it was appropriate for a Baptist to hold it!) He was the first professor of Assyriology in the United States, his appointment coming a year before Paul Haupt came to Johns Hopkins. Upon Toy's retirement, he was appointed Hancock Professor of Hebrew and other Oriental Languages at the Divinity School. He conceived the idea of the Semitic Museum, convinced Jacob Schiff to fund it, was its first curator from 1891 until 1922, and oversaw the completion of the building in 1903. He also served as the Director of the American School for Oriental Study and Research in Palestine, 1906-07, and excavated at Samaria. His works included An Assyrian Manual (1886), Harvard Excavtions at Samaria, 1908-1910 (1924), and numerous articles in the history of religions and in Oriental studies. He died December 4, 1935.

 

Additional sources of information:

Barton, George A. "David Gordon Lyon: In Memoriam." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research v. 62 (Apr. 1936), p. 2.
"Necrology." American Journal of Archaeology, v. 40, no. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1936), p. 131.

Edward Caldwell Moore

  • Parkman Professor of Theology, 1902-15
  • Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, 1915-29


Edward Caldwell Moore, the younger brother of George Foot Moore, was born on October 15, 1851, also in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Marietta College (Ohio) in 1877 and from Union Theological Seminary in 1884. He received a PhD from Brown University in 1891.

He joined the Harvard faculty in 1902 after serving as the pastor of a Central Congregational Church in Providence, Rhode Island (1889-1902). While at the Divinity School, Moore taught courses largely in post-Reformation theology, spanning from Kant to William James, and authored An Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant (1912). In 1915 Moore became the Plummer Professor at the Divinity School and the chairman of the University's Board of Preachers.

Moore also displayed a great interest in Christian missionary activity, authoring The Spread of Christianity in the Modern World (1919), serving as President of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and participating in post-World War II Christian relief efforts in Turkey.

Having served the Harvard community for 27 years, the younger Moore retired in 1929.

 

Additional source of information:

Dictionary of American Biography. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1928-1958.

George Foot Moore

  • Professor of Theology, 1902-04
  • Frothingham Professor, 1904-28


George Foot Moore was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, on 15 October 1851. He received an AB from Yale in 1872 and attended the Union Theological Seminary (1877). Soon thereafter, he was ordained to the Presbyterian ministry (1878) and served a parish in Zanesville, Ohio (1878-83).

G.F. Moore began his teaching career at the Andover Theological Seminary, where he remained from 1883 until 1901. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1902. His universal knowledge became almost a myth, and he was consulted by all sorts of inquirers on every kind of subject. Moore was well diversified in his teaching and scholarship, although he focused much of his time on the Hebrew Bible and the history of Judaism. His monumental three-volume Judaism (1927-30) was revolutionary in not attempting to modernize or theologize in a Christian sense Jewish sources.

He also held many non-teaching positions, including syndic at Harvard University Press (1913-24) and editor of the Harvard Theological Review (1908-14 and 1921-31). Among his various organizational affiliations were the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Oriental Society.

George Foot Moore 

 

Additional source of information:

Dictionary of American Biography. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1928-1958.

Joseph Henry Thayer

  • Bussey Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, 1884-1901

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 7, 1828, Joseph Henry Thayer began his long association with Harvard Divinity School in 1883, when he joined the faculty as instructor of the New Testament.

Having graduated from Harvard College in 1850, Thayer entered the Andover Theological Seminary, completing his course of study in 1857. After a brief stint as a pastor in Salem, Thayer joined the faculty of the Andover Theological Seminary, a position he held from 1864 to 1882. At Harvard, Thayer briefly served as Instructor of the New Testament, but soon became the Bussey Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, a position he held until 1901.

In 1895, Thayer proposed the creation of the American School of Oriental Research. Soon thereafter, the school opened its doors in Jerusalem. (Among the directors of the school is David Gordon Lyon, also highlighted in this exhibit). Much of Thayer's scholarship focuses on translation, including his best-known work, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, to which he devoted nearly twenty years.

Thayer retired in 1901, and was replaced as Bussey Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation by James Hardy Ropes.

"Editorial," The Christian Register, Mar. 16, 1893, p. 1:

Prof. Thayer advises young sermon-writers not to read sermons on the theme which engages their attention until after they have completed their task. He says that a sermon by a great preacher is rank poison in such a case. Robert Collyer's new sermons, "Things Old and New," are of this class. They are so catching that, using the same text or speaking on the same subject immediately after reading one of them, it would be almost impossible to avoid imitation. The first question one asks is not, "How did he think of that?" but, "Why didn't I think of it?" By the way, the publication of so many good sermons is spoiling all the good texts and striking topics. In the good old days a hundred men might be at the same time be working on the same text and the same subject without borrowing or being charged with plagiarism. But now, when a good text or title ingeniously treated is reported by telegraph or printed by the thousand, the natural rights of the ordinary preacher seem to be taken from him. What little originality he had is pre-empted by the men of genius. Many a good sermon is made useless for a hard-working minister by the publication of some other sermon which, whether better or not, covers the same ground in a similar way.

 

Additional source of information:

Dictionary of American Biography. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1928-1958.

James Hardy Ropes

  • Instructor in New Testament Criticism and Interpretation (1895-98)
  • Assistant Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation (1898-1903)
  • Bussey Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation (1903-10)
  • Hollis Professor of Divinity (1910-33)


Born in Salem on September 3, 1866, Ropes graduated from Harvard College in 1889 and from Andover Theological Seminary in 1893. After studying in Germany for two years, he joined the Harvard faculty as an instructor and, in 1903, received the Bussey Chair (until 1910) and the Hollis Professorship of Divinity.

While at Harvard, Ropes was instrumental in the Andover Theological Seminary's move to Cambridge in 1908 and in the even closer (and short-lived) affiliation with Harvard that began in 1922. Ropes was also much involved in the larger Harvard community. He was a member of the corporation of Radcliffe College (1905-1912) and Simmons College.

Ropes served as the editor of the Harvard Theological Review from 1921 until his retirement. His scholarship focused on New Testament criticism and interpretation; one of his books, The Text of Acts, was awarded the British Academy's medal for biblical studies.

Additional source of information:

Dictionary of American Biography. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1928-1958.

Ephraim Emerton

  • Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History (1882-1918)


Ephraim Emerton was born February 18, 1851, in Salem, Massachusetts, to James Emerton, an apothecary, and Martha West Emerton. After graduating from Harvard College in 1871, he worked as a reporter for the Boston Advertiser and then studied law, enrolling in the Boston University Law School in 1872. After a year of traveling in Europe, he enrolled in Leipzig University and studied under Theodor Mommsen and J. G. Droysen. His 1876 thesis Sir William Temple und die Tripleallianz vom jahre 1668, was published in 1877. He married Sibyl M. Clark in 1877.

At Harvard, he served as an Instructor in History and German from 1876 to 1878 and then as an Instructor in History from 1878 to 1882. He was elected in 1882 to be the Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History, the post he held until his retirement in 1918. In addition to textbooks, such as Medieval Europe, 814-1300, shown here, he wrote Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1899), Unitarian Thought (1911), The Defensor Pacis of Marsiglio of Padua (1920), and Humanism and Tyranny: Studies in the Italian Trecento (1925).

He was one of the founders of the American Historical Association, President of the American Society of Church History from 1920-1921, and President of the Cambridge Historical Society from 1921 to 1927.

He died in Cambridge on March 3, 1935.

His 1921 book Living and Learning: Academic Essays (Cambridge: Harvard University Press) includes an essay "The Rational Education of the Modern Minister." This passage (pp. 271-272) reveals something about his own character and about his view of the ministry:

"That the institution of the Christian ministry is to go on and will try to do substantially the work it has always tried to do is here assumed, in spite of all prognostications to the contrary.  My own conviction on this point may be illustrated by an early experience.  A generation ago, when I was a young teacher of History in the university I was sudddenly offered the newly founded professorship of Church History in the Harvard Divinity School.  I was a layman, with only a very loose connection with a religious organization and I had made, up to that time, no detailed study of either the institutions or the doctrines of the historic Church.  In my preliminary conversation with President Eliot he asked me among other things what was my feeling in regard to the permanence of the ministerial profession.  In view of the obvious rivalries of the press, of charitable organization, of scientific study, of popular education, did I feel that the profession of the minister was worth maintaining in dignity and honor as a part of the function of a great university?  My reply was, thatI did not believe the time had come or was likely to come soon when the spoken word would lose its power over the minds of men.  If the Christian ministry under its present form should dis-appear tomorrow, under some other form it would reappear the day after to-morrow and would go on doing the same work it had always done."

Additional source of information:

American National Biography. Edited by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Events

Harvard Summer School of Religion

Harvard Theological Review

Harvard Summer School of Religion

Every summer from 1889 until 1910, and in 1920 and 1921, the Divinity School sponsored a special course of study for clergy and other "students of religion." Lasting about two and one half weeks, the participants attended lectures given by the Harvard faculty and other scholars. Those who came from other schools to lecture included Williston Walker from Yale, Arthur McGiffert from Union, Shailer Mathews from the University of Chicago, William Kerby from Catholic University, George H. Coe from Northwestern, Booker T. Washington from Tuskegee, and Solomon Schechter from the Jewish Theological Seminary. In addition to the Divinity School faculty, other Harvard faculty including George Santayana, William James, and Hugo Münsterberg also lectured. President Charles W. Eliot lectured on several occasions. At the end of his presidency in 1909, he delivered a lecture entitled "The New Religion" that aroused strong reaction. Printed in the Harvard Theological Review and as a separate volume, The Religion of the Future predicted that twentieth-century religion would not be bound by dogma or creed.

In the first year, the lectures in the Summer School were on Old Testament, church history, and theology. In 1900, there were lectures in New Testament, history of religions, and homiletics. Afterwards each summer was devoted to a particular topic:

  • 1901 The Relation of Ministers to Social Questions
  • 1902 Current Problems in Theology
  • 1903 Principles of Education in the Work of the Church
  • 1904 Contributions to Historical Theology
  • 1904 The Bible
  • 1906 Christian Theology in its Origin and Development
  • 1907 The Relation of the Ministry to Social Ethics
  • 1908 The Relation of Christianity to Other Religions
  • 1909 Present Religious Conditions and Prospects
  • 1910 The Parish Minister

The sessions in 1920 and 1921 included a wide variety of topics.

Most who attended were clergy (for the most part Congregational, Unitarian, Episcopalian, and Universalist). The students came from all parts of the United States and abroad, including Japan and India. In the first year there were 105 students, of whom nine were women. Beginning in 1905, the catalogue of the summer school specifically states "The Summer School is open to men and women alike" (italics original).

Margaret Bowers BarnardMargaret Bowers BarnardAmong those who attended in the 1901 session was Margaret Bowers Barnard. Born in 1860 in Bucksport, Maine, and raised in New Orleans, she attended the Carnatz Institute there. When her family returned to New England, she moved to Chelsea and taught French at the Chauncy Hall and Berkeley Schools in Boston. Desiring to study for the ministry, she turned to Dean Everett for help. He assigned a Harvard tutor, Willard Reed, to go to her home in Chelsea once a week; Reed and her minister in Chelsea, Augustus Reccord, referred to this arrangement as "The Chelsea Divinity School." Ordained in 1897, she served Unitarian churches in Rowe and Bernardston, Massachusetts, and did missionary work in the Swansboro, North Carolina, circuit, until her retirement in 1930. She died in 1950.

Harvard Theological Review

HDS Dean's Report, 1903/04: "An interesting incident of the year assures to the Divinity School the perpetuation of the happy memory and profound influence of Dean Everett. By the will of his daughter, Miss Mildred Everett, it is provided that, after certain life interests are discharged, the residue of her estate shall be held by trustees, who shall apply the income to 'the establishment and maintenance of an undenominational Theological Review, to be edited under the direction of the Faculty of the Divinity school,' in order to carry out a plan, as the will states, which was suggested by her father. The income at present available of this bequest is insufficient to justify the establishment of a review, but it is the intention of the Faculty to begin in 1905 a more modest journal of theological inquiry, and the amount which will be finally received will permit the enlargement and perpetuity of a dignified journal."

HDS Dean's Report, 1907/08: "The first number of the Harvard Theological Review appeared in January, 1908. This Review ... is conducted by a Committee of the Faculty consisting of Professors G. F. Moore, Fenn, and Ropes. The Review has now a paid circulation of 800 copies, and its quarterly issues have contained articles of exceptional theological significance."

The first issue of the Review was published by Macmillan Company. Its contents included:

  • "The Call to Theology" by Francis G. Peabody (Harvard)
  • "Modern Ideas of God" by Arthur C. McGiffert (Union Theological Seminary)
  • "Is Our Protestantism Still Protestant" by William Adams Brown (Union Theological Seminary)"A Turning Point in Synoptic Criticism" by Benjamin W. Bacon (Yale)
  • "Recent Excavations in Palestine" by David G. Lyon (Harvard)
  • "The Economic Basis of the Problem of Evil" by Thomas N. Carver (Harvard)
  • "The Divine Providence" by Charles F. Dole

The Call to Theology by Francis Greenwood Peabody

Harvard Theological Review, v. 1, no. 1 (Jan. 1908), p. 1-9.

The time may appear to many persons inopportune for the launching of a Journal of Theology. The tide of theological interest may seem to have ebbed so low as to leave no channel for such a venture; the profession of the ministry fails to win recruits; the queen of the sciences is deposed from her throne; critics are announcing the rout of the theological schools. The machinery of the churches, it is true, revolves with energy, but it does not seem to be geared into the wheels of the working world; and the deliberations of the theologians are frankly regarded by great numbers of people with indifference, if not with contempt. A distinguished railway president, on being informed that a promising youth had undertaken the study of theology, remarked, " Why does not so gifted a man devote himself to something that is real?"

This apparent turn of the tide is illustrated by the movement of higher education in the United States. Universities and colleges, whether maintained by the State or endowed by private means, have become detached, not only from theological supervision, but even from theological instruction. Faculties of theology are the exception rather than the rule in American universities. It is felt that theology is not only a difficult and divisive subject, but that it is not essential to the complete equipment of an institution of learning. "Let those who care for theology," it is said, "establish their denominational schools where they may have the advantage of an academic environment; the univer-[p.2]sity itself needs no school of theology to complete its circle of the sciences." The same reaction from theology is to be observed even among those who have been professionally trained as theologians. Education in medicine, law, and natural science, has been within one generation fundamentally revised to meet the new expansion of knowledge, but education for the ministry has for the most part remained unadjusted to the new world of learning. The requirement of the Hebrew language, for example, as a condition of ordination -- or rather the requirement of so meagre a knowledge of the Hebrew language that not one student in ten can utilize it -- still extorts from many students of theology in the United States from one-fourth to one-third of their years of professional education. As a consequence of this and similar survivals in the theological curriculum, many ministers of religion have found themselves trained in subjects which they cannot use, and ignorant of much which they need to know, and as they take up their work in the world are inclined to lay down their theology. They become administrators of congregations, organizers of ecclesiastical industries, philanthropists, pastors, but not theologians. Theology has presented itself to their minds as a record of controversies which were once living fires but are now 'extinct volcanoes, and they turn with a sense of relief to the fertile fields of modern life. The call of the time seems to them a call away from theology. They may even acquire a habit of mind quite distinct from that which characterizes a learned calling. Practitioners of law, medicine, or the natural sciences, are primarily and continuously students, unremittingly concerned to maintain the pace of intellectual progress, open-minded to each fresh discovery of truth. Practitioners of theology, on the other hand, often reserve little time for study, and may easily become disinclined to severe or logical thinking. Thus they may become faithful custodians of the oracles of God or skilful operatives in the work of the Church, and in either function may be workmen that need not be ashamed, but their attitude toward truth tends to detach them from the spirit of the modern world. A distinguished man of science, addressing, in 1906, the graduates of a technical school, said to them, "We old fellows have hard work to keep up with the advances of this generation in scientific theory and technical [p.3] practice, and we strain every nerve to maintain our place as learners. "Then, as though contrasting this habit of mind with another, he proceeded to remark: "Authors, clergymen, women, and charitable workers, whose ideals of duty are in some respects unquestionably higher than those of the world, are in general strangely blind to the obligations of debt and contract . . . . Bankers do not like to deal with ladies or ministers or literary men." The scientific habit of mind, that is to say, according to this scholar, has its moral effect, and ministers, being less devoted to the method of science, become correspondingly less trustworthy in the ethics of daily life. However exaggerated such an indictment may be, it is not altogether without support in the habit and disposition of some ministers. It can hardly be maintained that the traits of intellectual honesty-precision, reserve of statement, the weighing of words -- are as conspicuous in ministers as in men of science or men of affairs. At a convocation lately held of students from many theological schools the problems and ideals of the ministry were set forth for three days by selected advisers, and discussed by selected young men. The programme was rich in suggestions, both for the conduct of the devout life and for the direction of practical service, but throughout the session not one word was spoken either by old or young which concerned the minister as a thinker, or the duties of theological students as students of theology. Feeling and action had crowded out of the foreground of interest the function of thought. Piety and efficiency seemed sufficient substitutes for intellectual power. The passion for service had supplanted the passion for truth. A very competent critic of preaching, addressing an assemblage of preachers in Boston, is said to have told them with characteristic candor that their work was marked by "intellectual frugality." The same indictment has been brought by a distinguished representative of the Church of England against his own communion. "The real security of the Church," said the Bishop of Birmingham, "lies in giving full scope to the scholar's gift, and the reason why many thoughtful people do not find spiritual advantage in listening to preachers is that the preaching gives them little to think about." A supply of priests, in other words, cannot make good a lack of prophets. The church as altar or workshop cannot supplant the [p.4] church as interpreter and preacher. A time when people in an unprecedented degree are thinking can be guided by those only who can think straight and can report their thought with power. At such a time the words of Phillips Brooks, which to many readers once seemed exaggerated, become words of sober warning, "In many respects an ignorant clergy, however pious it may be, is worse than none at all."

If, then, these signs of a reaction from theology are unmistakable, what is the dilemma which confronts the Christian Church? Either it must frankly retreat from the pretence of leadership under the conditions of the present age, or it must become a more efficient organ of rational and candid thought. Not less of relig- fervor and not less of practical activity are demanded of the representatives of religion, but a new accession of intellectual power, the capacity to translate the message of the Timeless into the dialect of the present age. The specialization of knowledge has prescribed to the minister of religion a definite sphere, and no amount of hastily acquired information about politics or economics or social reform can atone for the abandonment of his own province. On other subjects others are better trained than he, and may listen to his counsel with compassion, if not with contempt. If he gives up thinking about religion, he gives up his place in a learned profession. He may continue to be a devoted priest, an efficient administrator, a devout soul, but the direction of the mind of the age is transferred to other hands. In 779, William Law, the English mystic, published his Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, a summons to piety which touched experiences as remote from each other as those of Samuel Johnson and John Wesley. The same call of the mystic to the practice of the presence of God should be heard by the present age, and in the whirlwind and fire and earthquake of the time many a heart listens for this still small voice of the spirit. Under the new conditions of the modern world, however, its resistless movement of inquiry, its universal cultivation of the scientific method, its complete abandonment of obscurantism and ambiguity, a new and not less serious call is heard to devout and holy thinking. The future of organized religion will depend, not alone on new expressions of piety and new enlistments for service, but -- in an unprecedented [p. 5] degree -- on a revival, among those who represent religion, of intellectual authority and leadership.

There are several further considerations which reinforce this call of the time and add to its imperativeness. In the first place, it must be remembered that any one who thinks about religion theologizes, whether he will or no. Theology may appear to him a dreary record of profitless controversies, from which he turns to a self-originated, contemporary, up-to-date religion, with its material in the events of the day or the witness of personal experience. "Yourself," said Emerson, "a new-born bard of the Holy Ghost, cast behind you all conformity, and acquaint men at first-hand with Deity." It is a natural reaction in the rhythm of progress. Dogmatism begets mysticism; literalism swings over into transcendentalism. In neither case, however, is there an escape from theology. The theology of supernaturalism is simply supplanted by the theology of naturalism. "When me they fly," theology may say with Emerson, " I am the wings." Tauler, Madame Guyon, and Schleiermacher are as legitimately to be reckoned among the theologians as Cyprian and Thomas Aquinas. The only refuge from theology is to stop thinking about religion, and that is impossible except to one who stops thinking altogether. The only alternatives are those of a molluscous theology and a vertebrated theology; a theology which is all foreground, like a Chinese plate where the man is larger than the house from which he comes, and a theology which has perspective, background, and relations.

In the second place, there should be recalled the coincidence which has occurred at many points in history of a revival of theology with a revival of religion. It has indeed not. infrequently happened that a wave of religious feeling has been set in motion by unlearned preachers like Bunyan or Moody; but it cannot be inferred from such stirrings of the spirit that religious zeal is naturally repressed by learning or fostered by ignorance. The epochs of Christian history which have most indelibly marked its religious life have been at the same time epochs in the history of theology. The Confessions of Augustine, the Meditations of Anselm, the Simple Method how to Pray, of Luther, the Monologen of Schleiermacher -- these manuals of the devout life are the [p. 6] by-products of theologians. None but theologians could have created these epochs in the history of piety, and none but pious souls could have created the coincident epochs in the history of theology. Protestantism, Methodism, and Tractarianism were movements of religious vitality, but they began within the precincts of universities. It is suicidal to anticipate a revival of religion which shall be dissociated from a revival of theology. The only practicable choice is between a theology which gives chains and a theology which gives wings.

The call to theology is, further, heard in more personal experiences. Many a minister of religion would gladly testify to the tonic effect upon his spiritual power of intimacy with the mind of a master; the chastening discipline of acquaintance with great teachers or great thoughts. It is not essential to this exhilaration that the teaching should be accepted; it is the intellectual friction which sustains the momentum of his own thought. Not tolerance only, but the expansion of one's own convictions, comes of ascending with a trained guide to the heights of thought where one surveys the broad horizon of truth. No preacher is safe from spiritual atrophy who does not habitually, exercise himself in these intellectual athletics of his profession. I have known a Protestant rationalist whose thought and style were enriched by the study of Cardinal Newman; another who prepared himself for worship by companionship with the mediaeval mystics; and still another who sharpened his mind each week on the whetstone of Calvin. One of the most impressive facts in the biography of James Martineau is his determination, at the age of forty, to withdraw from his distinguished career as preacher and, even thus tardily, betake himself to Germany, where he might establish first-hand relations with the masters of philosophical idealism. From this point a new note of authority and a new sweep of insight are at his command, and the lyric strain of his earlier teaching is steadied and broadened by new companionships. No disclosure in the biography of Phillips Brooks is more instructive than the intellectual momentum which this prophet of modern life acquired through a study of the ante-Nicene Fathers of the Church. Historical research, far from diminishing his passionate devotion to contemporary religion, broadened and clarified his [p.7] view; and his gift of sympathy with types of thought and worship remote from his own was, if not acquired, at least confirmed, by his intimacy with Tertullian and Origen.

A further aspect of the call to theology is its promotion of cooperation between the teachers and the preachers of religion. The Devil, it has been said, laughs at a divided Church. It must be not less amusing to him to see the skirmish-line of theology advancing to new attacks of inquiry while the commanders of ecclesiasticism retreat to the breastworks of the past. This alienation between the conduct of pastoral life and the teaching of theological science may be observed in all countries. New sources of knowledge, new methods of criticism, new material for investigation, have given new vitality and fascination to the study of theology; but if free inquiry is to be met by anything less than appreciation and confidence, then religion cannot expect to hold the loyalty of educated men. If professional preferment or popularity be reserved for those whose minds are closed and denied to those whose minds are open, there must follow the decadence of the ministry and the paralysis of the Church. If industry and candor are less available as passports to eminence than conformity and reticence, then the Church is doomed to obscurantism and provincialism. Nothing repels the best minds from the service of religion more sternly than this sense of a schism between its science and its art. What Samuel Adams said of the American colonies is true of the ministers of religion in their relation to the teachers of theology: if they do not hang together, they will hang separately. The only permanent cure for wrong thinking is right thinking. The only way out of bad theology is through good theology. Either the theologians must lead the Church, or the Church must cease to lead the world. Religion must either hear the call to theology: or must content itself with becoming a function of the State, or a refuge for sick souls.

Finally, as one thus reviews the signs of the times which call to theology, he observes that it is a call which in many countries and many forms is being heard and obeyed. The first impression which one receives of a prevailing indifference to theology is not a just impression. On the contrary, the signs of a new concern for [p.8] the rational interpretation of religion are so many that they appear to be the premonitions of a genuine renaissance. The Roman Catholic Church is at this moment stirred by an agitation of free inquiry whose consequences may be as momentous as those of the Protestant Reformation; and this theological movement, represented by the Abbé Loisy, Senator Fogazzaro, and Father Tyrrell, is not likely to be checked by the reproach of Modernism. A great Church, as one critic has remarked, cannot maintain itself on the principle that there is no such thing as history. Either within the Catholic Church, or-in the language of the last Encyclical -- "as the synthesis of all heresies," a revision of Catholic theology seems destined to occur. A similar call to serious thinking is heard, among the noises of ecclesiastical politics, both in France and Great Britain. The collisions of State with Church, by the very violence of their friction, are striking out new conceptions of the nature and province of religion, and giving new momentum to theological progress. The, "New Theology" of the English nonconformists, even if it be neither wholly new nor wholly theological, is at least a brave and candid search for a rational basis of religious experience. The scientific temper, long alienated from theology, is returning to the perennially absorbing problems of faith, as in the suggestive catechism of Sir Oliver Lodge. In every communion of churches the younger clergy are eagerly reconsidering the foundations of belief, testing the flexibility of creeds, and extending the radius of intellectual liberty. It is a propitious time to begin a Journal of Theology. The period of indifference seems approaching its close, and an era of promise for theology seems to be at hand. In one of the most notable of modern German books on the beginnings of Christianity, Professor Wernle remarks, with playful exaggeration, that among other characteristics of the work of Jesus Christ he came to save men from the theologians. It is a just discrimination of his teaching from the theological method of the scribes; but it is a most inadequate definition of the purpose of Jesus. He came, in fact, not to destroy theology, but to fulfil it. He gave new scope and significance to the thought of God, to the nature of man, and to the destiny of the soul and of the world. He would have been reckoned among the world's great theologians if other endowments had not given [p.9] him a higher title. He came not to save men from the theologians, but to save the theologians themselves. It is the same today. The traditional, external, and formal theology of the scribes speaks in a language which the present age does not understand, but the theology of Jesus Christ has the perennial authority of spiritual insight and habitual communion with the Eternal. The message of the gospel is not one of salvation from the theologians, nor even one of salvation for the theologians, but a message which, in its interpretation of the nature of God and of man, must be delivered by the theologians to the mind of the modern world.

Students

School SpiritSchool Spirit

The School Gathers in 1895The School Gathers in 1895

School Spirit

Harvard Divinity School Senior Class (1895)Harvard Divinity School Senior Class (1895)

From the Dean's Report, 1908/1909

"One of the principal problems of the School is the maintenance of a school spirit among the students. This may seem of trivial importance compared with academic interests, but in the training of ministers it has exceptional significance, for nowhere else does a professional spirit (in the best sense of the term) count for so much as in the work which clergymen are called upon to do together. This indeed is one justification for the existence of a separate divinity school, the curriculum of which necessarily overlaps at many points that of the college, and at others is a legitimate extension of it. A half-century ago this was not the case, but with the changing attitude of theology, affecting both the subjects and the methods of professional study, the modern theological school has become of a piece with the college and the university. Consequently it has frequently been urged that, no valid reason now exists for maintaining a separate school of theology, but a sufficient, though not the only answer is the exceptional value to a clergyman of association during his years of preparation with those who are to be his co-laborers in ministerial work. Herein also lies one explanation of the reluctance of many divinity students to attend a non-denominational school of theology, instead of a school frequented by men who are to be their nearest professional associates. Having committed ourselves to the non-denominational principle, we are under special obligation to develop an esprit de corps among our students. This, however, constitutes for us an exceedingly difficult problem on account of the peculiar conditions of our School. Denominational schools attract students with similar habits of thought, coming from homes where the same religious papers are read and the same religious leaders are honored, and by reason of these common interests and traditions, fellowship is easy and natural. Our School, however, has a company of students representing many denominations, among whom these points of contact are lacking and unless denominational coteries are formed -- a remedy which would be highly deplorable -- the men are apt to hold aloof from one another. This tendency towards disintegration is aided by the diversified attractions of a great university and great city. Furthermore a large number of our students (20% last year) are married, and living, as they must, outside the Hall, are less easily drawn into the common life. Moreover, many attend the School for but a single year, and the comparatively large number of new-comers are with difficulty incorporated into the life of the School by the few students who holdover from year to year. In the ordinary theological school, with three classes, about two-thirds of the students in any given year were members of the school during the previous year, but with us the proportion is almost exactly reversed. During file past year only 37% of the students primarily registered with us had been members of the School the year before. This indicates the difficulty of maintaining the corporate life of the School. In addition many of our students are mature men, coming here to pursue advanced studies who are eager to use to the utmost the opportunity often long coveted and dearly purchased, of a year at Harvard, and therefore can give but little time and strength to sustain the common life of the School. For these. reasons the problem of maintaining a vigorous school spirit, important for every school of theology, is especially important and peculiarly difficult for us. So far we have not been able satisfactorily to solve it, but the Divinity Club has been exceedingly helpful and deserves sincere gratitude for its loyal devotion to the interests of the School."

The School Gathers in 1895

In the manuscripts collection of Andover-Harvard Library is found the following photograph of the school gathered in 1895, together with a typewritten list identifying many in the photograph. An alphabetical list follows these two images, with links to brief biographical information and the person's position in the photograph.

1st row #9 : Allen, J. C. (Joseph Cady)

1st row #5 : Applebee, John Henry

3rd row #5 : Bennett, Frederick Marsh

4th row #1 : Borncamp, Edward (formerly John Edward Borncamp)

3rd row #1 : Bourne, Alexander Phoenix

1st row #8 : Brown, William Channing

4th row #14 : Coar, Arthur H

4th row #12 : Crooks, Charles Melvis

1st row #7 : Diller, Anna

1st row #10 : Eaton, Horace

2nd row #4 : Emerton, Ephraim

2nd row #5 : Everett, Charles Carroll

1st row #4 : Farwell, Herbert Cunningham

1st row #2 : Fox, John Pierce

3rd row #7 : Gebauer, George Rudolph

4th row #11 : Greenman, Lyman Manchester

2nd row #8 : Hale, Edward

4th row #13 : Hall, Angelo

4th row #2 : Hannum, Henry Oliver

2nd row #2 : Hudson, Adelbert Lathrop

3rd row #3 : Hussey, Alfred Rodman

3rd row #2 : Jenkins, Burris Atkins

4th row #6 : Jones, Joseph Henry

4th row #10 : Jones, Silas

4th row #5 : Kerlin, Robert Thomas

1st row #11 : Langton, Joseph

2nd row #7 : Lyon, David Gordon

2nd row #3 : Morison, Robert Swain

1st row #3 : Parker, Charles Albert

1st row #6 : Peabody, Mrs.

2nd row #10 : Pressey, Edward Pearson

2nd row #1 : Rand, Edward Kennard

3rd row #8 : Reccord, Augustus Phineas

4th row #3 : Reed, Willard

4th row #9 : Robson, Kernan

3rd row #4 : Rowlinson, Carlos Carson

1st row #1 : Starbuck, Edwin Diller (formerly Edwin Eli Starbuck)

4th row #8 : Stearns, Wallace Nelson

2nd row #6 : Thayer, Joseph Henry

4th row #4 : Wilcomb, Chester James

3rd row #6 : Wood, Earl Boyton

1st row #12 : Wright, Henry Collier

This biographical information comes from various sources. The General Catalogue of the Divinity School of Harvard University (Cambridge: The University, 1920) is the main source of information for all students who attended the Divinity School through the 1919/20 academic year. Unitarian ministers were also researched through obituaries and files in the Manuscripts and Archives collection. Additional sources for some include American National Biography (edited by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999; noted as ANB) and Who Was Who (New York, etc.: St. Martin's Press, etc.; noted as WWW).

Top row (right to left):

Henry Collier Wright (Methodist). Wright was born in Le Roy, Ohio, on August 29, 1868. After attending the Divinity School until 1896, Wright was ordained a deacon and subsequently served in Austin, Minnesota, Dubuque, Iowa, St. Paul, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Ohio. He received a PhD from Boston University in 1900. Wright also served with the Russell Sage Foundation and was the First Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Charities in New York City. As a sociologist, he authored numerous books including Bossism in Cincinnati (1906) and The American City (1915). He died in 1935. [WWW]

Joseph Langton (Presbyterian). Langton was born in Watertown, New York, on May 5, 1862. After receiving an AM at Harvard in 1896, he was ordained and served in Quebec; Londonderry, New Hampshire; Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; and Wetonka, South Dakota.

Horace Eaton (Unitarian). Eaton was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, on October 13, 1871. After receiving his PhD from Harvard in 1900, Eaton taught German and English at the University of Vermont and, later, English at Syracuse University. He edited The Diary of Thomas De Quincey for 1803. He died in 1958. [WWW]

Joseph Cady Allen (Unitarian). Allen was born in Rochester, New York, on January 30, 1869. After attending the Divinity School for one year, Allen was ordained and served in Winona, Michigan; Redlands, California; Scituate, Massachusetts; Yarmouth, Maine; Walpole and Hubbardston, Massachusetts; Charlestown, New Hampshire; Farmington, Maine; Genesco, Illinois (following a brief stint as a troubadoring Shakespearean actor in the British Isles); Rowe, Massachusetts; and Bernardston, Massachusetts. He died in 1955.

William Channing Brown (Unitarian). Brown was born in Sherborn, Massachusetts, on March 7, 1868. After attending the Divinity School for one year, Brown served parishes in Gardner, Massachusetts (where he was ordained in 1895) Hubbardston, Massachusetts (1895-98), Littleton, Massachusetts (1898-1904); Wheeling, West Virginia (1924-28); and Sudbury. Massachusetts (1929-35). Brown also was appointed Field Secretary of the Unitarian Universalist Association, a position he held from 1904-23. Brown, at the time the oldest minister in the Unitarian Universalist Association and a minister emeritus in Littleton, Massachusetts, died in 1967 at the age of 100. [WWW]

Cora Weld Peabody (1848-1914) was the wife of Professor Francis Greenwood Peabody.

Anna Diller [Starbuck] Anna Diller was the daughter of Isaac Diller. Almost blind from spiral meningitis as a young girl, she was sent to a private school in Ontario, Canada, where she developed a special interest in music. She later studied in Leipzig with Hershift, a student of Franz Lizst, and was one of the first to use the "sensitive touch" technique of Leschetizky. She was one of the first two Radcliffe women to take courses at Harvard (under William James, Josiah Royce, and Dean C.C. Everett). She was married in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on August 5, 1896, to Edwin Starbuck (who changed his middle name to her maiden name), and had eight children. She taught in the Music Department of the University of Iowa from about 1913 until her death on February 12, 1929. [For bibliography, see under Starbuck]

Top


Second row from top (right to left):

Edward Pearson Pressey (Unitarian). Pressey was born in Salem, New Hampshire, on June 28, 1869. After attending the Divinity School for two years, Pressey was ordained and served in Montague and Turners Falls, Massachusetts. At Montague he founded New Clairvaux, a utopian community based on the "Arts and Crafts" ideal. He advocated a return to the self-sufficient, pre-industrial age in which the dignity of labor was revived and service to all honored. The community never consisted of much more than six families, students, and apprentices who shared common work areas but had privately owned residences. In 1910 the New Clairvaux Press under Carl Rollins published his History of Montague. His community, however, fragmented. He left Montague in 1914 to farm in Vermont and finally settled in Schenectady, New York, where he became Associated Press editor of the Schenectady Gazette. He died in 1928.

[Falino, Jeannine. "The Monastic Ideal in Rural Massachusetts: Edward Pearson Pressey and New Clairvaux" in The Substance of Style: Perspectives on the American Arts and Crafts Movement, edited by Bert Denker (Winterthur, Delaware: Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum; Hanover and London: Distributed by University Press of New England, 1996). Corrections to parts of this information from David R. Drake.]

???

Edward Hale (Unitarian). Hale was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, on February 22, 1858. After graduating from Harvard (1879), he lived in Rome, Italy, for two years and then studied architecture in the office of H. H. Richardson. After graduating from Harvard Divinity School in 1886, he served as Associate Minister of the South Congregational Church in Boston and then as Minister in Orange, New Jersey. He was Assistant (1886-96), Instructor (1896-97), and Associate Professor (1897-1906) of Homiletics at the Divinity School. He was minister of the First Church of Chestnut Hill from 1897 until his death in 1918.

David Gordon Lyon

Joseph Henry Thayer

Top


Third row from top (right to left):

Augustus Phineas Reccord (Unitarian). Reccord was born in Acushnet, Massachusetts, on February 14, 1870. After graduating from Brown University and the Divinity School, Reccord was ordained and served in Chelsea, Massachusetts; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; Springfield, Massachusetts; and Detroit, Michigan. Reccord, a Minister Emeritus at parishes in Grosse Point and Detroit, Michigan, served in the active Unitarian ministry for 44 years, after which he served informally with parishes in Montreal and Louisville, Kentucky. He died in 1946. [WWW]

George Rudolph Gebauer (Unitarian). Gebauer was born in Schmardt, Germany, on March 17, 1857. After graduating from the Gymnasium in Brieg and serving in the army for one year, he emigrated to Philadelphia where an uncle was a Reformed pastor. Before entering the Divinity School, he was in business in the West. He served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Alton, Illinois; Duluth, Minnesota; Keokuk, Iowa; and Pittsburg (Northside), Pennsylvania. He died in 1930.

Earl Boyton Wood (Congregationalist). Wood was born in Bangor, Maine, on January 7, 1871. After attending the Divinity School, Wood was ordained and served in Lovell and Fort Fairfield, Maine. He died in 1899.

Frederick Marsh Bennett (Unitarian). Bennet was born in Woodstock, Ohio, on April 6. 1866. After receiving his AM from Harvard in 1895, he was ordained and served in Carthage, Missouri; Keokuk, Iowa; Lawrence, Kansas; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Youngstown, Ohio. Bennet also served as a Unitarian Conference Field Agent for the Middle States and Canada. He died in 1929.

Carlos Carson Rowlinson (Disciples). Rowlinson was born in Kent, Indiana, on May 5, 1895. After attending Harvard, he was ordained and served in Jefferson City, Missouri; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Marshalltown, Iowa; Indianapolis, Indiana; Kenton, Ohio; Iowa City, Iowa; and La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Top


Fourth row from top (right to left):

???

Angelo Hall (Unitarian). Hall was born in Washington, DC (Georgetown), on December 16, 1868. After attending Harvard, he was ordained and served in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, and Andover, New Hampshire. Later, Hall served as Instructor and then Professor of Mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy. He died in 1922.

Charles Melvin Crooks (Congregationalist). Crooks was born in Van Wert County, Ohio, on September 27, 1870. He served churches in these Massachusetts cities: Colrain, Grafton, Worcester, Brockton, and Barre. He died in 1962.

Silas Jones (Disciples). Jones was born in Owingsville, Kentucky, on February 11, 1867. After attending the Divinity School for two years, Jones was ordained and served in Newman and Sterling, Illinois. Later, Jones served as Professor of Sacred Literature and Philosophy at Eureka College.

Top


Bottom row (right to left):

Arthur H. Coar (Unitarian). Coar was born in Yonkers, New York, on August 26, 1872. After receiving his AM from Harvard in 1898, Coar was ordained and served in Ellsworth, Maine; Farmington, Maine; Holyoke and Amherst, Massachusetts; Elizabeth, New Jersey; and Pembroke, Massachusetts. He died in 1950.

Lyman Manchester Greenman (Unitarian). Greenman was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on May 10, 1870. After attending the Divinity School for two years, he was ordained and served in Grafton, Massachusetts; Gloucester, Massachusetts; Yonkers, New York; New Brighton, New York; and Quincy, Illinois.

Kernan Robson. Robson was born in North Greenfield, Ohio, on September 22, 1892. After attending the Divinity School for one year, he became Professor of English language and Literature at the University of South Dakota, 1895-1897.

Top


Top row (left to right):

Edwin Diller Starbuck. Edwin Diller Starbuck was born in Guilford Township, Indiana, on February 20, 1866. Starbuck was raised in the Quaker tradition, though by early adulthood he had developed a highly critical view of traditional Christian dogma. Investigating Christian belief, however, was more for Starbuck than a personal endeavor. 

After receiving an AB degree in 1890 from Indiana University, Starbuck enrolled at Harvard to study religion, philosophy and psychology. While at Harvard, Starbuck engaged in independent research in what is now called the psychology of religion. Having developed various questionnaires "measuring" individual religious experience, Starbuck, largely outside of formal instruction, linked religious experience and psychology, a hitherto unknown field of study. In Dean Everett's class in Systematic Theology (which he remembered in his essay "Religion's Use of Me"), he met Anna Maria Diller, a fellow student, whom he married in 1896.

[p. 226] During the winter of 1894-5, about the middle of the second year of the study, some clear and significant consistencies began to appear, particularly in the conversion study: the piling up of age-frequencies near pubescence; likenesses of the phenomena of conversion and those attending the breaking of habits; the signs of the dissociation of personality and its recentering, not unlike the split-personality experiences described by James, Prince, and Janet; and so on through a considerable list. Dean Everett was sufficiently interested to request a report before his class in the philosophy of religion made up of about sixty graduate students which included' women as well as men, since Radcliffe students were that year for the first time admitted to graduate courses at Harvard. The presentation was simple and factual and unargumentative. The discussion was then thrown open to the class. That occasion was a sort of christening ceremony for the babe newly born into the family of academic subjects. Some quite hot water was poured into the baptismal font. The first douse of it came from Edward Borncamp, who rose, his face white with emotion. His first sentence, fervid with the warmth of deep conviction, was, "It's all a lie!" Laughter broke out there in that dignified classroom. There was also a pouring of friendly waters into the font, and words of commendation for this new babe. Of course, the attempted damnation of the infant by the first speaker was because its swaddling clothes were only the filthy rags of earthly psychology, [p.227] ill-becoming the sacredness of religion. The charming Dean, high priest on that occasion, had words of encouragement for the father of the child, and for the offspring itself. There in that class sat Anna Diller, profound student, musician-artist. She warmed towards it and took it to her bosom as she was later to take the whole oncoming Starbuck brood.

Starbuck's early work at Harvard elicited a mixed response, with some claiming that psychology and religion "have nothing to do with one each other." Importantly, one of Starbuck's chief supporters was William James, who incorporated Starbuck's findings in The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902). After receiving his AM from Harvard in 1895, Starbuck enrolled in PhD studies at Clark University. After receiving his PhD two years later, Starbuck published his The Psychology of Religion, the first text in the new field.

Starbuck spent much of his life teaching, holding positions at Stanford University (Assistant Professor of Education, 1897-1903), Earlham College (Professor of Education, 1904-06), the State University of Iowa (Professor of Philosophy, 1906-30), and the University of California (Professor of Philosophy and Psychology). Between his time at Stanford and Earlham, Starbuck studied in Germany under Ernst Meumann, a leading scholar in the new field of educational psychology. After his time in Germany, Starbuck concentrated on "character education," including work with the American Unitarian Association on religious education curricula.
  [ANB; Starbuck, Edwin, "Religion's Use of Me" in Religion in Transition, edited by Vergilius Ferm (New York: Macmillan. 1937, esp. p. 222-227); Booth, Howard J. Edwin Diller Starbuck:  Pioneer in the Psychology of Religion (Washington, D.C. : University Press of America, 1981).]

Jon Pierce Fox. Born in Dorchester on November 5, 1872, Fox received his AB from Harvard in 1894 and attended the Divinity School for one year. Fox became a municipal consultant, specializing in transportation, zoning and city planning, primarily in New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Beginning in 1928, Fox served as a consultant on the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. [WWW]

Charles Albert Parker (Baptist). Parker was born in Ludlow, Maine, on January 8, 1869. After graduating from Brown (AB and AM) and the Rochester Theological Seminary, Parker attended the Divinity School for almost two years and was ordained in 1889. After ordination, he served in Lake City, Colorado, and Carver, Quincy, Los Gatos, San Jose, and Redwood City (these in California).

Herbert Cunningham Farwell (Unitarian). Farwell was born in Clinton, Massachusetts, on November 5, 1868 and was ordained on June 18, 1899. He was Superintendent of the Salem Fraternity ("The Oldest American Boys Club") for 56 years beginning in 1899. He died in 1954.

John Henry Applebee (Unitarian). Applebee was born in Davenport, England, on March 12, 1868. The son of a Methodist then Unitarian minister, Applebee moved to the United States and graduated from Meadville (Chicago) in 1894. After attending the Divinity School for one year, Applebee was ordained and served parishes in Buffalo, New York; West Roxbury, Massachusetts; Attleborough, Massachusetts; and Syracuse, New York. Applebee also served in the American Red Cross Home Services during World War I.

Top


Second row from the top (left to right):

Edward Kennard Rand . Rand was born in Boston on December 20, 1871 and received his AB (1894) and AM (1895) from Harvard and his PhD from the University of Munich (1900). Rand held three positions at Harvard throughout his career: Instructor of Latin (1901-06), Assistant Professor of Latin (1906-09) and Professor of Latin (1909-42; Pope Professor of Latin after 1931). He served as annual professor and later trustee and life member of the American Academy of Rome. He was president of the American Philological Association and one of the founders of the Mediaeval Academy of America, serving as its first president and the editor of the first three volumes of its journal, Speculum, for which he suggested the name. He became a high church Anglican and had passed the collection plate at the Church of the Advent on the morning of the Sunday he died in 1945. In recognition of his scholarship and lifelong devotion to France, he was posthumously awarded the degree of Docteur de l'Université by the University of Paris. His works included Founders of the Middle Ages (1928), The Magical Art of Virgil (1931), and the Building of Eternal Rome (1943). [ANB]

Adelbert Lathrop Hudson (Unitarian). Lathrop was born on November 12, 1853, in Richland, New York, and received an LLB. from the University of Iowa. He practiced law for 17 years, first as the County Attorney in Algona, Iowa, and then in 1883 with a firm in Sioux City, Iowa. It was in Sioux City that, as a layman, he helped organize the First Unitarian Church in 1885. His interest in religion was so keen that he decided to study for the ministry. He received his AB (1893) from Harvard and graduated from the Divinity School in 1895. He was ordained in 1897 and served parishes in Salt Lake City, Utah; Buffalo, New York; Newton, Massachusetts, and Quincy, Massachusetts. In 1920, he became minister of the First Parish in Dorchester, Massachusetts, which he served until his death in 1938.

Robert Swain Morison (Unitarian). Morison was born in Milton, Massachusetts, on October 13, 1847. He graduated from Harvard College in 1869 and from the Divinity School in 1872. He was minister of the Independent Congregational Church in Meadville, Pennsylvania, from 1874 to 1878. He served as librarian (from 1889, emeritus after 1908) and secretary of the faculty (1893-1908) at the Divinity School. He died in 1925.

Ephraim Emerton

Charles Carroll Everett

Top


Third row from top (left to right):

Alexander Pheonix Bourne (Congregationalist). Bourne was born in New York on January 7, 1866. After receiving his AM from Harvard in 1895, Bourne was ordained and served parishes in Exeter, New Hampshire;  Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Rochester, Massachusetts.

Burris Atkins Jenkins (Disciples) Born in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 2, 1869 Jenkins received his AM from Harvard in 1896. After, he was ordained and served parishes in Santa Barbara, California; Indianapolis, Indiana; Buffalo, New York; and Kansas City, Missouri. Jenkins also briefly served as Professor of the New Testament at the University of Indianapolis and as President of Kentucky University. He published numerous books and was also editor and publisher of The Kansas City Post (1919-1921) and publisher of The Christian (1926-1934). He died in 1945. [WWW]

Alfred Rodman Hussey (Unitarian). Born in New Bedford on March 22, 1869, Hussey received his AB from Harvard in 1894 and attended the Divinity School for one year in 1895. After, Hussey served parishes in West Roxbury; Massachusetts; Taunton, Massachusetts; Baltimore, Maryland; Lowell, Massachusetts; and Plymouth, Massachusetts (1921-39). From 1916 to 1930 he was the literary and book editor of The Christian Register. He died in 1947.

Top


Fourth row from top (left to right):

Edward Borncamp (Episcopalian). Born in LeSueur, Minnesota, on November 7, 1868, Borncamp attended the Divinity School for just over one year. Ordained in Boston in 1897, he served parishes in Duxbury, Massachusetts; Boston, Massachusetts; and Winona, Minnesota.

Henry Oliver Hannum (Congregationalist). Born in Kasota, Minnesota, on October 19, 1871, Hannum attended the Divinity School for one year. He served parishes in Southwick, Boston, and Holyoke (these in Massachusetts), and Superior, Wisconsin. Hannum also briefly worked for the YMCA and the Interchurch World Movement.

Willard Reed (Unitarian). Born in Mount Vernon, New York, on June 26, 1876, Reed graduated from Harvard College and received his AM after study at the Divinity School in 1895. Reed spent much of his career as an educator, both as an administrator and teacher. In Massachusetts, Reed served at the Roxbury Latin School as well as the Browne and Nichols School. A local political activist, Reed sat on the Cambridge City Democratic Committee. After retirement from education, Reed returned to the ministry, informally serving parishes in the Cambridge area. Both his son, Capt. Willard J. Reed, 32, and grandson, John Reed Copeland, 18, were killed in World War II. Willard Reed died in 1944.

Robert Thomas Kerlin (Methodist). Kerlin was born in New Castle, Missouri, on March 22, 1866. After attending the Divinity School, Kerlin briefly served as the Chaplain for the 3rd Regular Missouri Volunteer Infantry. He taught English at a number of colleges, including the Virginia Military Institute (1910-21); the State Normal School in West Chester, Pennsylvania, (1922-27); Potomac State College in Keyser. West Virginia; and Western Maryland College. He published numerous books including Theocritus in English Literature (1909) and Negro Poets and Their Poems (1923). He died in 1950. [WWW]

Joseph Henry Jones (Unitarian). Jones was born in Holland, Virginia, October 22, 1869. After graduating from the Divinity school in 1898, he served churches in Providence, Rhode Island; St. Cloud, Minnesota; St. Joseph, Missouri; and Topeka, Kansas.

???

Wallace Nelson Stearns (Methodist). Born in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, on August 26, 1866, Stearns received his AB (1893) and AM (1897) from Harvard. He received a PhD from Boston University (1899) and held teaching and administrative positions at Ohio Wesleyan, Boston University, Northwestern University, University of Illinois, Wesley College, University of North Dakota, Fargo College, and McKendree College (Illinois). He published numerous works including Fragments of Graeco-Jewish Writers (1908). He died in 1934. [WWW]

Top


Bottom row:

Chester James Wilcomb (Baptist). Wilcomb was born in Chester, New Hampshire, on August 27, 1869. After receiving his AB from Harvard, Wilcomb continued his education at Columbia (AM 1897) and Union Theological Seminary (1898). Wilcomb was ordained in 1898 and briefly served a parish in Greenville, New Hampshire. He then taught at Dartmouth College and in Brooklyn, New York; San Rafael, California; and Riverside, California.