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Literature of Theology and Church History in the United States and Canada

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About this Collection

Literature of Theology & Church History in the United States & Canada


The first fifteen units of The Literature of Theology and Church History in the United States and Canada were filmed by Lost Cause Press. Units sixteen through thirty-three continue with nineteenth century monographic theological literature published in the United States and Canada and are based on the holdings of the Yale University Divinity School Library. The bibliographic base for the collection is compiled from several bibliographies, including The Literature of Theology: The Classified Bibliography of Theological and General Religious Literature, by John F. Hurst.

Works published in the collection are assigned one of nine subject categories: Bible, Religion, Historical Theology, Dogmatic Theology, Practical Theology, Church History, Church and Society, Missions, and Biography.

The film type utilized in this microform collection is silver halide, and meets industry standards for archival permanence.

Editors Introduction

Surely the time is propitious for a new and expanded microform publishing project concentrating on religion in America. Methodological and historiographical considerations are forcing a fresh assessment of American religion. Historians are at once widening the lenses through which American religious life is viewed while focusing on more specific traditions. The purpose of this collection is to document the widest possible range of religious practice and thought in the United States by reproducing the pivotal documents across this landscape.

The chronological scope of this collection is the nineteenth century. This century began with the cessation of the Standing Order and spawned a diversity of religion which would appear to be more durable than any founding Puritan vision had hoped to be. Nevertheless, for this collection, the edges of the nineteenth century will remain soft so as to include some earlier and later titles necessary to complete a set or an authors published corpus.

The collection focuses on Christianity in North America and will provide the widest possible documentation of that religion as it was practiced and discussed. The foil used in selecting materials will be current historiography1, rather than the theological or historical assessments of nineteenth century authors themselves. Nevertheless, given the chronological scope of the collection, a majority of the titles included will be of Protestant provenance.

The collection organizes material around nine categories: Bible, Religion, Historical Theology, Dogmatic Theology, Practical Theology, Church History, Church and Society, Missions, and Biography. The category Historical Theology covers nineteenth century studies of earlier topics whereas the category Church History covers historical topics in the nineteenth century. Church and Society, a contemporary division of the theological curriculum, covers the significant reform movements which originated in the 1800s.

The collection includes what may be called works of secondary as well primary importance. That is, every effort has been made to ensure that the collection contains the foundational works which shaped, and now reflect, the varieties of American religious experience. But, scholarship now requires secondary works, works which influence the shapers, works which reached out to the general populace, works whose importance may only be ascertained through fresh investigation. Thus, the collection finally intends to be a true research collection.

Stephen L. Peterson
College Librarian
Trinity College


1 As discussed, for example, by R. Laurence Moore, Religious Outsiders and the Making of Americans, New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.


Subject Categories

BIBLE: includes all work pertaining to the bible, parts thereof, commentaries, and special topics.

RELIGION: includes treatises on religion in general, comparative religion and theological assessments of religions other than Christianity.

HISTORICAL THEOLOGY: includes 19th-century treatises on Christian history and thought of earlier periods.

DOGMATIC THEOLOGY: includes Christian doctrine and ethics.

PRACTICAL THEOLOGY: includes ministry and pastoral office, hymnody, ritual, worship and liturgy, education, etc.

CHURCH HISTORY: includes church history, religious societies and associations, religious movements, and denominational treatises.

CHURCH AND SOCIETY: includes social reform movements, abolition, womens rights, temperance, etc.

MISSIONS: includes all aspects of missions both domestic and foreign.

BIOGRAPHY: includes all works of religious biography and autobiography, including correspondence.