Horace Bushnell

Horace Bushnell (bŏŏsh´nəl), 1802–76, American Congregational minister, b. Bantam, Conn. Bushnell became (1833) pastor of the North Church, Hartford, Conn. He wrote Christian Nurture (1847) and God in Christ (1849). Because of certain views of the Trinity allegedly expressed in the latter, unsuccessful attempts were made to bring him to trial for heresy. Bushnell's dignified reply was made in Christ in Theology (1851). His repudiation of the austerity of Calvinism and his stress on the presence of the divine in humanity and nature had profound influence in shaping liberal Protestant thought. Ill health obliged him to retire from the active ministry in 1859, but he continued to write. His works include The Vicarious Sacrifice (1866), in which he developed the well-known "moral influence theory" of the atonement; Sermons on Living Subjects (1872); and Forgiveness and Law (1874).

See the Life and Letters, ed. by his daughter, Mrs. M. B. Cheney (1880, 1903; repr. 1969); biographies by T. T. Munger (1899) and W. R. Adamson (1966); studies by A. J. W. Myers (1937), B. M. Cross (1938), and William A. Johnson (1963).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Horace Bushnell: Selected full-text books and articles

FREE! Christian Nurture By Horace Bushnell Scribner, 1912
FREE! Horace Bushnell By Theodore T. Munger The Riverside Press, 1899
Horace Bushnell: Minister to a Changing America By Barbara M. Cross University of Chicago Press, 1958
FREE! Life and Letters of Horace Bushnell By Mary A. Bushnell Cheney Harper, 1880
The Character of God: Recovering the Lost Literary Power of American Protestantism By Thomas E. Jenkins Oxford University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Seven "Desire and Disgust: Horace Bushnell"
Dictionary of Heresy Trials in American Christianity By George H. Shriver Greenwood Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "Horace Bushnell (1802-1876)" begins on p. 75
History of American Congregationalism By Gaius Glenn Atkins; Frederick L. Fagley The Pilgrim Press, 1942
Librarian’s tip: "'The Old Order Changeth': Horace Bushnell" begins on p. 172
The Social Ideas of the Northern Evangelists, 1826-1860 By Charles C. Cole Jr Columbia University Press, 1954
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Horace Bushnell begins on p. 146
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