This monograph, written during the centennial celebration of the United States Constitution, charts the historical relationship between church and state. Schaff writes from the unique position of a theologian and a historian who has lived on both sides of the Atlantic. Citing examples from Presidential addresses, court cases, and European observers such as Alexis de Tocqueville, Philip Schaff describes the genesis and growth of American Christianity and the unique historical context from which it sprang. He also outlines its historical connection with the church in Europe, and offers possibilities for the American church’s future mission within this unique political climate.
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- Examination of the historical relationship between church and state
- Discussion of the part of the Constitution which protects us against the despotism of a state church
- Examples from Presidential addresses, court cases, and European observers
Praise for the Print Edition
In the development of the discipline of church history in the United States, few scholars played a more important role than the Swiss-born, German-educated immigrant Philip Schaff. His model of careful, accurate, comprehensive, and irenic scholarship . . . remains worthy of admiration and emulation.
—R. Graham, professor of American church history, North Park Theological Seminary
No scholar of his generation has interested me so much. He was broad, powerful, a man of great genius.
Philip Schaff wanted to be remembered as a Christian scholar, and he pursued this scholarship in the context of his grand and optimistic ecumenical vision . . . Schaff was, in his own words, an inveterate hoper.
- Title: Church and State in the United States
- Author: Philip Schaff
- Publisher: Charles Scribner’s Sons
- Publication Date: 1888
- Pages: 171
About Philip Schaff
Philip Schaff (1819–1893) was born in Chur, Switzerland. He was educated in Germany at Tübingen, Halle, and Berlin, where he studied under August Neander. In 1843, he moved to America and became a professor of church history and biblical literature at the German Reformed Theological Seminary in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.
During that time, he edited a hymnal, worked on the liturgy in the German Reformed Church, and edited a translation of the Heidelberg Catechism. The English translation of his History of the Apostolic Church appeared in 1853. Schaff remained at Mercersburg until 1863, when the Civil War forced the seminary to close.
In 1870, Schaff became a professor at Union Theological Seminary. During his tenure there, he held the chair of theological encyclopedia and Christian symbolism, the chair of Hebrew and cognate languages, the chair of sacred literature, and the chair of church history. He also served on the committee that translated the American Standard Version.
Schaff also authored or edited the History of the Christian Church, Early Church Fathers, and the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. He is remembered as one of America’s foremost church historians of the nineteenth century.