Publication of Shailer Mathews's The Faith of Modernism
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Shailer Mathews, the Dean of the Divinity School at the University of Chicago (1908-1933), was a proponent of theological modernism, which he defined in his opus The Faith of Modernism as using the "scientific, historical, [and] social method in understanding and applying evangelical Christianity to the needs of living persons."It was in part a response to the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy that was dividing many Christians at the time (see "Shall the Fundamentalists Win?" and Christianity and Liberalism). Mathews responded by arguing that the choice was not between fundamentalist and modernist Christianity but between modernism and no Christianity at all. In short, unless modernists accommodated orthodox Christianity to the needs of an industrial society, Christianity would fade away into irrelevancy. All that the fundamentalists offered when faced by class conflict, the labor struggle, and poverty, Mathews believed, was dead doctrine.
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'The Faith of Modernism'- Hathi Trust
Shailer Mathews portrait- Internet Archive
Hutchison, William R., 1992. The Modernist Impulse in American Protestantism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
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Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History