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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy birthday, James Luther Adams!

I am amazed to learn that, my profound admiration for his theological writing notwithstanding, I had never comprehended that November 12 is James Luther Adams's birthday. (Since my birthday is November 11, you'd think I would have noticed!) Thanks to James Ford's tribute to Adams yesterday, now I know. Adams was born in 1901 and died July 26, 1994.

I've written before about Adams's significance as a liberal Christian (and Unitarian Universalist) theologian. In 2005, I praised Kim Beach's excellent book about key themes in Adams's theological work for UU World. Earlier this year I commended Gary Dorrien's new three-volume history of American liberal theology in part for its inclusion of Unitarian theologians; he gives Adams a prominent place among 20th century liberal theologians.

I've also referred to him a lot when theology comes up here at Philocrites, though as I scanned back through those posts last night I realized most of the references only make sense if you're already familiar with his work. If you're not familiar with Adams, start with James's post. The Essential James Luther Adams is a good first book if you're not academically inclined. The James Luther Adams Foundation offers a guide to his other books, among other resources. (I'm the volunteer webmaster.) See also his bio at the Dictionary of Unitarian Universalist Biography and at Notable American Unitarians.

Happy birthday, JLA!

Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 13 November 2007 at 7:38 AM

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November 14, 2007 10:48 PM | Permalink for this comment

I moved into Div Hall at Harvard in July of 1994 and remember his passing very well. People's faces on campus clearly indicated that a great giant tree in our forest had been felled.

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