American Protestant Theology: A Historical Sketch by Luigi Giussani

By Luigi Giussani

In American Protestant Theology, Luigi Giussani strains the historical past of the main significant theological expressions and the cultural value of yank Protestantism, from its origins in seventeenth-century Puritanism to the Nineteen Fifties. Giussani clarifies and assesses parts of Protestantism reminiscent of the democratic method of Church-State kinfolk, "The nice Awakening," Calvinism and Trinitarianism, and liberalism. His wealthy references and analytical descriptions reconstruct an outline of the advance of a faith that has nice value within the context of non secular existence and American tradition. He additionally monitors complete appreciate for the spiritual intensity from which Protestantism used to be born and the place it might probably succeed in, and expresses nice admiration for its such a lot well known thinkers and religious leaders, together with Jonathan Edwards, Horace Bushnell, Walter Rauschenbusch, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Paul Tillich. additional testomony to Giussani's clear-minded and entire wisdom of Christianity, American Protestant Theology makes the paintings of a grasp theologian on hand in English for the 1st time.

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5 2 T h e In t e l l e ctual Li fe a n d t h e B e s t- K n own Li terature A fervid intellectual life characterized these groups; many emigrants were academics and men of learning: “They did not travel to the New World in the hope of improving their situation or enhancing their wealth. They tore themselves away from the pleasures of home in obedience to a purely intellectual need. ”6 From the flourishing Puritan colonies of New England, there flowed a truly active contribution of thought, and the course of American theology had begun.

Spencer For Giussani, the only possible unity for such a human religious phenomenology can be a point outside of it, vested in a divine action, namely, Jesus Christ and his sacrifice. Only in that act is our participation in the Kingdom possible. The “aporia” of Niebuhr’s thought is its incapacity to see the Divine apart from its ontological expression in human religious experience. If we are not to confuse this with ourselves, or nature, or some other aspect of existence, it needs an orientation beyond its confirmation in individual experience, in community.

3 In reality, as previously noted, this danger crept in through the same conditionality of the Covenant between God and man that the “federal” theologians of New England understood as a truly binding contract between two parties, as Sibbes defines the “Covenant of Grace”: “It has pleased the great God to enter into a treaty and covenant of agreement with us his poor creatures, the articles of which agreement are here comprised. indb 18 2013-07-31 14:02:04 New England Theology 19 he doggedly opposed in theory: “My Brethren, This is the Way.

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