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A Life of Alexander Campbell (Library of Religious Biography)

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The first critical biography of Alexander Campbell, one of the founders of the Stone-Campbell Movement.

A Life of Alexander Campbell examines the core identity of a gifted and determined reformer to whom millions of Christians around the globe today owe much of their identity—whether they know it or not.

Douglas Foster assesses principal parts of Campbell’s life and thought to discover his significance for American Christianity and the worldwide movement that emerged from his work. He examines Campbell’s formation in Ireland, his creation and execution of a reform of Christianity beginning in America, and his despair at the destruction of his vision by the American Civil War. A Life of Alexander Campbell shows why this important but sometimes misunderstood and neglected figure belongs at the heart of the American religious story.

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  • Seeks to reveal the core identity of Alexander Campbell
  • Claims to be a critical biography that asesses the principal parts of Campbell's life and thought
  • Explores the person of Campbell, as well as his beliefs and convictions, by following his journey through life and faith
  • Preface: Why a Biography of Alexander Campbell?
  • The Formation of Alexander Campbell’s Ireland
  • The Formation of Alexander Campbell’s Father
  • The Formation of the Mind of Alexander Campbell
  • The Creation of a Career
  • The Creation of the Ancient Gospel and Order of Things
  • The Role of Christian Unity in Alexander Campbell’s Agenda
  • The Creation of a Better Bible
  • The Defender of Protestant Christianity
  • The Creation of Two Crucial Institutions
  • The Rise of Anti-Campbellism
  • Bitter Clashes with Baptists
  • John Thomas and the Lunenburg Letter
  • Campbell versus the Mormons
  • Campbell versus the Presbyterians—Again
  • The Clash with Walter Scott
  • Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone
  • The Ferguson-Fanning-Richardson Affair
  • Slavery: The Greatest Threat to the Movement
  • The Civil War and the Millennium
  • The Death of a Reformer
  • The Shadow of Alexander Campbell
In this splendid biography, Douglas Foster presents Alexander Campbell as the complicated man he was—a man who defined himself as a simple, New Testament Christian, but whose view of the Christian religion was deeply shaped by the age in which he lived and by many of his less-than-noble characteristics. In the end, Campbell was a man whom history largely forgot but—as Foster makes clear—a man whose story says so much about the human condition that his life deserves to be known. Any biography that can paint such a highly nuanced portrait of its subject is a work of art, indeed.

—Richard T. Hughes, David Lipscomb University

Alexander Campbell is one of the most important religious figures in all of American history, yet few of us know much at all about him. A Scots-Irish immigrant who sailed to America in 1809, he quickly helped to found one of the most important movements in this country’s spiritual history, known today in scholarly circles as the Stone-Campbell Movement. He was a fascinating man who led a busy, complex, and always controversial life, one that Doug Foster represents here with great skill. This is a good read by a real pro at just the right time.

—Douglas A. Sweeney, Beeson Divinity School

Douglas Foster successfully illuminates the real and seeming contradictions of this complex nineteenth-century leader’s inflexible teaching of baptism and the Holy Spirit, recognition of the genuine Christianity of persons who did not share his views, and relationships with persons whom he viewed as opponents or threats to his program to advance God’s coming reign of peace and justice that was to begin in the United States.

—D. Newell Williams, Brite Divinity School

  • Title: A Life of Alexander Campbell
  • Author: Douglas A. Foster
  • Series: Library of Religious Biography
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 2020
  • Pages: 368
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Reader Edition
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2021-10-26T16:34:02Z

In the Logos Reader Edition, this volume is enhanced to best fit the content. Scripture references are hand-tagged to integrate with powerful functionality in Logos Bible Software. Page milestones and internal citation tagging provide accurate points of reference. Search important words across resources to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive tools for reading digital content are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.


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    Digital list price: $29.99
    Save $11.00 (36%)

    In production