Friday, November 14, 2008, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
Heretical Tendencies in the Kingdom of God: Radical Christian Intellectuals and the Ideological Boundaries of the Social Gospel
Dave Burns, Northern Illinois University
Commentators: Kathryn Oberdeck. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Kate Masur, Northwestern University
During the Progressive Era, the ideals and ideas linked to dominant conceptions of civilization, science and citizenship often blunted the brotherhood and solidarity religious figures in America sought to impart to the world in Jesus’ name. This paper examines the lives and works of Cyrenus Osborne Ward and George Herron, two contrarians who rejected the evolutionary outlook of the social gospel that divided the human race into superior and inferior peoples and created their own radical and humanistic variants of Christianity to reach out to the workers of the world. Focusing on how each man used a working-class Jesus as the center of their ethical universe, it places Ward and Herron within a broader intellectual movement that challenged the authority of preachers and theologians to define the boundaries of religion.
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Jenny Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 312-255-3524. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.
The Newberry Library Seminar in Labor History
Co-sponsored by the History Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University and the Labor and Working Class History Association
The Newberry Library
Dr. William M. Scholl Center for
American History and Culture
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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