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Friday, September 1, 2006

Hedge's 'Reason in Religion' and other classics online.

Thanks to a tip from Spirituality and Sunflowers, I see that many Unitarian and Universalist classics are among the books in Google's new digital library. I have just downloaded Frederic Henry Hedge's overlooked classic of post-Transcendentalist Unitarian theism, Reason in Religion (1865), a very brittle copy of which I had read in the Andover-Harvard Theological Library some years ago. Google's copy is personally inscribed from Hedge to George Bancroft.

I see that Google isn't the only source, however. The University of Michigan also has a digital copy in the public domain, somewhat more navigable — and you can buy a reprint from them for $45.95.

The trick will be to build a catalog of the these titles so that they're easy for scholars, students, ministers, and other researchers to find them.

Update 9.2.06: I should add that the one chapter from Hedge's book that I'd put on a seminarian's reading list is Part II, Chapter V, "The Spirit in the Letter" (pages 301-316), which answers Ralph Waldo Emerson's denigration of institutions, history, and liturgy while preserving key Transcendentalist insights.

Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 1 September 2006 at 7:13 AM

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September 1, 2006 12:56 PM | Permalink for this comment

You can also download the very first (1826) Annual Report of the American Unitarian Association, as I commented to the members of the UU-History list a couple of days ago.

Dan Harper:

September 1, 2006 11:31 PM | Permalink for this comment

May I whine for just a moment? I want searchable hypertexts, not graphic images of pages. Blah -- that's what I say to Google books. Long live Project Gutenberg.


September 1, 2006 11:44 PM | Permalink for this comment

Was that really Dan? Sounded more like Mr. Crankypants to me.

Thanks for the link. I just enjoyed reading Hedge's chapter on salvation by faith. It was surprisingly un-Pelagian for a 19th century Unitarian.


September 2, 2006 12:52 AM | Permalink for this comment

Lot's of neat stuff on the web, somebody somewhere had a version of one of Enoch Pingree's debates - he was certainly known as a rough and tumble Universalist debater on the western circuit, and this was a good way to see at least what he said (if not how he said it). However, i cant find that site anymore.....
I asked a few years back, when this was still new, if someone could put together a website with these things linked? Still a good idea!

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