Universalist Conventions and Creeds, republished

Years ago, I learned that the best way for me to read an obscure bit of Universalist theology or history was to transcribe it for the web, thus my twenty years of creating web sites. Following on my last post, about Universalist distinctives, I decided to revisit Richard Eddy’s landmark series “Universalist Conventions and Creeds“, an institutional history of early American Universalism. Though I first found parts of it (on microfilm) in the 1990s, I had never found (thus never read) all of it.

Recently, too, I wrote a page that posted the locations of all know copies of the journal Universalist Quarterly and General Review in which Eddy had published this work. Since then, I discovered this index that is complete. Ignore my list.

Now I can read all of “Universalist Conventions and Creeds” — which means I’ll transcribe it. Full circle. I’m about two-thirds the way of an initial clean up, but the extensive footnotes make a challenge for web publishing. So, I’ll probably make a PDF too. I’ll be over a hundred pages long…

But one more thing. In Google-ing around about the Philadelphia Convention (1790-c.1809), I discovered no only that the documents that Eddy quotes still exist, but that they are at Harvard, but that they too have been digitized and may be read online. I nearly swooned.

2 Replies to “Universalist Conventions and Creeds, republished”

  1. Scott,

    I am working on a book on a Universalist couple in Dubuque who hosted Emerson, Alcott, et al while the wife was the leader in establishing women’s clubs nationally.

    Do you know when the Universalists stopped with the Christian creed requirement? I appears the Utns did so a century ago or so.

  2. By this, I’ll take it you mean a Christian basis of fellowship for ministers and churches; one that had to be generally accepted. That would be the 1950s — I’d have to research for an exact date as the previously static laws of fellowship changed markedly from one year to the next in the 50s, anticipating consolidation with the Unitarians.

    But how Christian is a basis of fellowship? The 1935 Washington Avowal reads Christian if you’re already one, but arguably less so if you’re making disciples. And that doesn’t get into how strictly it was applied, or how ministers whose theological opinions changed were received.

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