Category Archives: 19th Century

Truth of History Vs. Reason of State

It has often been a staple of Protestant apologetics to assert that Rome “doesn’t like the truth,” and to back this up by an appeal to all the history that Rome has supposedly “covered up” because it’s too embarassing. Many … Continue reading

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Democracy and Ecclesiology

One problem with some forms of conciliarism, particularly that practiced at the later phases of the Council of Basel, was an excessive capitulation to a prototypical “democratic” polity. One observer of the time, at Basel, put it this way: In … Continue reading

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The Literary Apostasy of the Nineteenth Century

Reading books like Nathan Hatch’s The Democratization of American Christianity and Iain Murray’s Revival and Revivalism and various comments of John Williamson Nevin and Philip Schaff on the American religious situation of that era, it seems plain to me that … Continue reading

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Schleiermacher and Modern Hermeneutics

After a century and a half (1650-1800) of increasing rationalism in biblical hermeneutics and criticism, a reaction that may be called “romanticism” began. Lessing and Reimarus had succumbed to Spinoza, and had subsequently done incalculable damage to the cause of … Continue reading

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The Historical Background of Vatican I

Nineteenth century Christianity fascinates me. So much changed in this momentous century, and much of it for the worse. For the most part what I’ve looked at historically are effects of secularization on Protestantism–e.g., the increasing rationalism of mainstream Reformed … Continue reading

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Some Insight Into Nineteenth Century Catholicism’s “Retrenchment”

In his massive work Christianity In A Revolutionary Age: A History of Christianity in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries Vol. 1: The Nineteenth Century in Europe,:”(New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1958)”: Kenneth Scott Latourette adds some extremely interesting details … Continue reading

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“A Victim of An Age…Over Which He Had No Control”

A brief follow-up to my post Fear, Honor, and Interest and the Records of the Council of Trent:Chadwick summarizes the intense struggle of the period 1868-1874 of the Vatican archivist Augustin Theiner to get the archives of the Council of … Continue reading

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“Fear, Honor, and Interest” and the Records of the Council of Trent

In his account of the Peloponnesian War, the great historian Thucydides, chronicling the vast fratricidal follies of the Greeks, wrote that one big cause of the War was the simply human emotional and psychological triad of “fear, honor, and interest.”[1] … Continue reading

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On 19th Century “Liberalism” As An Enemy of Faith

Owen Chadwick has described the idea of liberalism which dominated the 19th century as “more a motto than a word, more a programme of what might be than a description of what was; a protean word, which some claimed to … Continue reading

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Philip Schaff and 19th Century Protestantism

Stephen R. Graham’s book Cosmos in the Chaos: Philip Schaff’s Interpretation of Nineteenth Century American Religion is a fascinating read. When put with such works as Nathan Hatch’s The Democratization of American Christianity and Iain Murray’s Revival and Revivalism, it … Continue reading

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