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Literature of Theology and Church History: British Theology

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About this Collection

Literature of Theology & Church History: A Basic Library of British Theological Studies


The first eighteen units of The Literature of Theology and Church History, a Basic Library of British Theological Studies were collected and filmed by Lost Cause Press (now Primary Source Microfilm, an imprint of the Gale Group).

This collection began with selected works of nineteenth century English theologians, religious thinkers and church leaders selected from pertinent sections of the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. It includes the general studies on the growth of liberal theology, the evangelicals and the Oxford Movement and the high churchmen. The work of major English thinkers such as Thomas Arnold, James Martineau, John Frederick, Denison Maurice, Frederick William Robertson, Thomas Chalmers, William Wilburforce, Richard William Church, John Keble, Cardinal Newman, Henry Parry Liddon and many other scholars and thinkers of comparable stature are included.

Represented here is a broad spectrum of the basic intellectual currents which permeated the thought of the English-speaking world, as well as Christendom in general, throughout the nineteenth century and into our own times. The influence of books reprinted here reached all areas of the world of letters and scholarship, in England and abroad. Without them the course of culture and history for the last century and a half would have a different image. Here are major contributions of England to civilization, probably as significant as any since the Reformation and Renaissance.

Units nineteen through twenty-seven continue with nineteenth-century monographic theological literature published in Great Britain and 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 and the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature.

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. Cataloging for the collection is available in MARC format, using AACR2 cataloging with one subject heading.

The film type utilized in this microform collection is silver halide, 49 frames per fiche card, with a reduction ratio of 24x and meets industry standards for archival permanence.

Editors Introduction

Religious life in nineteenth-century Britain was variegated and dynamic. It was a century of religious ferment and innovation. Indeed, from the perspective of Christian history, it has been called "The Great Century."1 These decades spawned a literature of commensurate scope and vitality; a literature which is at once voluminous and influential. It is a literature which calls for ever more detailed and thorough study.

It is the intention of this microform collection to make this documentation much more accessible than has previously been possible. Chronologically, the scope of this collection is the nineteenth century. Some titles of later imprint are included, however, where it is necessary to complete a set or an authors published corpus.

Essentially, the collection is an imprint collection. That is, it covers work printed in Great Britain. The chief benefit of this convention is that the collection will include English translations of many important works of continental scholarship. Indeed, the mediation of European scholarship to the English speaking world was a not insignificant role of British academicians.

The collection focuses on Christian thought and history. Yet, it includes general works on religion written by Christian authors. More importantly, the nineteenth century produced a substantial literature recording the encounter of Christianity with many of the worlds religions. The collection intends to cover the full scope of Christian, but particularly Protestant and Roman Catholic thought as reflected in the published British record.

The collection organizes materials 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 and Society, a contemporary division of the theological curriculum, covers the significant reform movements which originated in the 1800s.

Finally, the collection is more than "best books." It is also discriminatingly and purposefully comprehensive. Ultimately, the collection should sustain advanced teaching and basic research for most topics falling within chronological scope.

Stephen L. Peterson
Divinity Librarian
Yale University



1 Kenneth Scott Latourette devoted two volumes of his History of the Expansion of Christianity (New York: Harper, 1937-1945, 7 volumes) to the nineteenth century and subtitled these volumes "The Great Century."