‘American Lutheran Pietism’ by Paul P. Kuenning

Paul P. Kuenning, The Rise and Fall of American Lutheran Pietism: The Rejection of an Activist Heritage (Macon, Goergia: Mercer University Press, 1988)

Link s (in blue) in detailed table of contents


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7-8 Johann Arndt (p. 8 Outside of the Bible and Luther’s Small Catechism, no other writing has been so read and revered by Lutherans.” cited to Arndt p 176 “The pages of True Christianity are permeated with the conviction that love for God can be expressed in a tangible way only through love for one’s neighbor. This ‘neighbor love’ is viewed as the real test of faith that ‘distinguishes false Christians from true Christians.’ … Arndt’s chief contribution to the development of German Lutheran Pietism lay in a profound moral concern which proclaimed that ‘where one does not follow Christ in his life through faith, there is neither faith nor Christ’ and that neither the reading or hearing but the doing and practicing of the Word demonstrates true Christianity.”

9-11 Spener —

10 Pia Desideria “The central thrust of the book was a scathing attack on some of the evident evils existing within the church and its clergy. The gross lack of morality and spirituality was excoriated. An external or formal Christianity that accepted church attendance and reception of the sacrament as an indication of real discipleship was condened. A simple assent to doctrine or a verbal affirmation of confessions or creeds as evidence of a true faith was likewise denounced.”

11-12 Francke

17-18 Francke influence on Cotton Mather


70-72 Sanctification — good works part of justification
71 — It was, in fact, a reticence to deviate from the principle of sola fides that led Schmucker and his Pietist colleagues to “question orthodoxy’s insistence on regeneration in the baptism of infants and the presence of Christ in the Supper, regardless of the presence or absence of faith in the communicant.

75-6 anti-Catholic

76-77 Pietists for missions, evangelism “against the determined efforts of strict confessionalists to retain a German church.”

77-80 revivalism and Finney’s new measures pro and con [77-78] 1838 a reader of Lutheran Observer blasted the editor “for his alleged approval of these revivalitic measures. “Alter, for the Lutheran Church’s sake, the name of your [78] paper, call it New Measure, Fanatical, Methodistical, Anti-Lutheran Engine, or Advocate of Screaming, Falling, Clapping of Hands, of Hypocrisy and Lies.” (Italics in the original

79 Not only were the clergy required to give some tangible evidence of this change of heart, but also in most cases a demonstration of conversion was considered as the doorway to adult membership in the church. In his model constitution for congregations Samuel Schmucker had advocated that, before admitting a person into membership, “The church council in all cases … require evidence of those changes and acts which constitute genuine conversion.” [n35] With few exceptions, the English-speaking congregations connected with the General Synod accepted this suggestion and put it into practice, particularly thourhout the third and fourth decades of the nineteenth century.

Census of 1860

Joseph C.G. Kennedy, Population of the United States in 1860; Compiled from the Original Returns of the Eighth Census (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1864), pp. xxviii-xxvix https://archive.org/details/populationofusin00kennrich/page/n39/mode/2up

[Kennedy was superintendent of census

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[My screen grab is from: Introduction, Population of the United States of America, 1860 https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/decennial/1860/population/1860a-02.pdf — it’s the same as the Internet Archive document above]

Acculturation, Swedes, northern European evangelical movement

James D. Bratt, “The Augustana Synod in Light of American Immigration History,” Augustana Heritage Newsletter, Fall 2012 http://augustanaheritage.augustana.edu/AHANewsletterFall12-web.pdf

The following presentation was given at Plenary Session IV of the AHA Gathering at Gustavus Adolphus College on June 23, 2012. Dr. Bratt is Professor of History at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received his B.A. from Calvin College and a Ph.D. from Yale University, where he studied under Sydney E. Ahlstrom, the leading historian of American religion in his generation. Professor Bratt has an interest in religion and ethnicity. He taught for nine years at the University of Pittsburgh before returning to his alma mater, where he has just completed his 25th year of service.

Continue reading “Acculturation, Swedes, northern European evangelical movement”

David Bebbington’s definition of ‘evangelical’


The National Association of Evangelicals (https://www.nae.net/what-is-an-evangelical/):

Historian David Bebbington also provides a helpful summary of evangelical distinctives, identifying four primary characteristics of evangelicalism:

  • Conversionism: the belief that lives need to be transformed through a “born-again” experience and a life long process of following Jesus
  • Activism: the expression and demonstration of the gospel in missionary and social reform efforts
  • Biblicism: a high regard for and obedience to the Bible as the ultimate authority
  • Crucicentrism: a stress on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as making possible the redemption of humanity

These distinctives and theological convictions define us — not political, social or cultural trends. In fact, many evangelicals rarely use the term “evangelical” to describe themselves, focusing simply on the core convictions of the triune God, the Bible, faith, Jesus, salvation, evangelism and discipleship.



Works Cited

“What is an Evangelical?” NAE: National Association of Evangelicals https://www.nae.net/what-is-an-evangelical/

More on ‘institutional separation and functional interaction’ — & 1985 WaPo article on civil religion

Issues in Religious Liberty: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary on Oversight on the State of Religious Liberty in America Today, United States Senate, 98th Congress, 2nd Session, June 26, 1984. https://books.google.com/books?id=jPJcI9Qeh4cC&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Hearing was called by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, in response to

[p. 120:]

Continue reading “More on ‘institutional separation and functional interaction’ — & 1985 WaPo article on civil religion”

Notes & quotes: Church, state and Luther’s two kingdoms

Robert Joseph Renaud and Lael Daniel Weinberger. “Spheres of Sovereignty: Church Autonomy and the Theological Heritage of the Separation of Church and State,” Northern Kentucky Law Review 35.1 ( ): 67ff. https://www.academia.edu/37200698/Spheres_of_Sovereignty_Church_Autonomy_Doctrine_and_the_Theological_Heritage_of_the_Separation_of_Church_and_State

Abstract: This article begins by examining the theological underpinnings of the concept of separation of church and state. Second, it proceeds to review the church-history context in which this theology was developed. It focuses especially on the Protestant Reformation’s concept of independent jurisdictions of church and state, and how that perspective influenced the American view of church and state. Finally, it suggests that the historic theological position on the jurisdictional separation of church and state is reflected today in the church autonomy cases.

[73] As far as influence on American law and philosophy goes, arguably the most significant reformer was John Calvin. …

Continue reading “Notes & quotes: Church, state and Luther’s two kingdoms”

Notes and excerpts — ‘How Our Lady of Guadalupe Became Lutheran: Latin American Migration and Religious Change’

Luisa Feline Freier, “How Our Lady of Guadalupe Became Lutheran: Latin American Migration and Religious Change,” Migraciones internationales [Tijuana] 5.2 (July-Dec. 2009) http://www.scielo.org.mx/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1665-89062009000200006 Continue reading “Notes and excerpts — ‘How Our Lady of Guadalupe Became Lutheran: Latin American Migration and Religious Change’”

Fernando Ortiz — ajiaco metaphor and transculturation

João Felipe Gonçalves, “The ajiaco in Cuba and beyond: Preface to ‘The human factors of cubanidad’ by Fernando Ortiz,” Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 4.3 (2014): 445–480. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.14318/hau4.3.031a


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Paul Andersen’s 1850 letter to American Home Missionary Society — ‘ungodly professors’ take warning (!)

Conrad Bergendoff, ed. “Reports to the American Home Missionary Society, 1849-1856,” 35-84. Augustana Historical Society Publications, Vol. 5. Rock Island: Augustana Historical Society, 1935.


[35] In 1848 Paul Andersen, a Norwegian student, succeeded in organizing a number of Chicago Norwegians into a Lutheran congregation. Andersen secured ordination from the Franckean Synod (N.Y.) and for a while belonged to this Synod. the American Home Missionary Society granted him a subsidy and required in return a quarterly and annual report concerning his activities. … [IN AUG SYN ARCHIVES]

… These reports give a graphic picture of conditions during this period in Chicago. The firs Swedish Lutheran immigrants also joined this church and were ministered to by its pastor, prior to the organization of a Swedish congregation and the coming of Erland Carlsson.


Continue reading “Paul Andersen’s 1850 letter to American Home Missionary Society — ‘ungodly professors’ take warning (!)”

Roger Williams — misc. quotes

Mark DeWolfe Howe, The Garden and the Wilderness: Religion and Government in American Constitutional History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965.

It has often been pointed out — frequently with regret — that the history of American churches has been marked by a progressive deterioration in what might be called their standard of admission. From the time when New England invented the “half-way covenant” and thus permitted the baptized but possibly unregenerate descendants of the covenanted saints to participate in the church’s affairs, it has been the tendency of almost all American churches progressively to alleviate the rigors of belief and offer the hospitalities of church membership to persons who would rather like to be purified but find the process both tedious and discomforting. Though I am sure that something more basic to our social condition than law explains this drift away from the “old-time religion” to the new-time religiosity, I take it that the legal doctrines which I have been discussing played a not wholly insignificant part in strengthening the tendency. 53

“Mark De Wolfe Howe Dies; Lawyer, Historian Was 60,” Harvard Crimson, March 1, 1967 https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1967/3/1/mark-de-wolfe-howe-dies-lawyer/

Howe, a member of the Law School faculty since 1946, was Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History. … on graduation from Harvard Law in 1933, he clerked with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes,

1928 — joined Paramount Pictures as a second assistant director and worked on pictures with Jimmy Durante and Fred Allen. Soon, however, Howe was back in Cambridge at the Law School.

Soon, however, Howe was back in Cambridge at the Law School.

Upon his graduation in 1933, his life took a turn that was to have a lasting effect on his career. The late Mr. Justice Frankfurter, then still in his professorial chair at the Law School, selected Howe to be secretary to Holmes. Similar to Holmes in background–both men had grandfathers who were men of the cloth, the father of each was at the center of the literary Boston of his day–Howe was ultimately to become the editor of Holmes’ letters and the author of Holmes’ biography, unfinished at Howe’s death.

— He published, in 1957 and 1963, two volumes of biography; Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: The Shaping Years, 1841-1870 and The Proving Years, 1870-1882. — wrote extensively on question of constitutional law, particularly on church-state relations, the subject of his recent book, The Garden and the Wilderness.

But despite his extensive scholarly commitments, Howe was deeply and passionately involved in public affairs. An active Democrat and adviser to many Democratic candidates for state office, Howe served on his ward committee until he felt obliged last year to resign so that he would be free to support publicly a Republican. Elliot L. Richardson ’41. Howe found his own party’s candidate for Attorney General in that election intolerable.