Publication of Shailer Mathews's The Faith of Modernism

Founder
Shailer Mathews
Time Period
1924
Description
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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Biographies
Machen, John Gresham
Mathews, Shailer
Photographs

'The Faith of Modernism'- Hathi Trust

Shailer Mathews portrait- Internet Archive
Source(s)
Hutchison, William R., 1992. The Modernist Impulse in American Protestantism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Web Page Contributor
Paul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University

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