Volume 2 of Shedd’s History of Christian Doctrine explores the history of Christian anthropology, including theories of the soul and conceptions of pre-existence. Shedd argues that the influence of Greek anthropology can be seen in the development of theology in the Early Church, and in the doctrine of original sin articulated by Tertullian, Cyprian, Hilary, Ambrose, and Augustine. The history of original sin concludes with Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon, and Zwingli’s connection between original sin and regeneration.
Shedd also offers a sweeping history of soteriology from the beginning of the church to the modern era, and surveys Abelard, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and others, along with the perennial emergence of Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism in the church. He concludes with a survey of eschatology, including conceptions of Christ’s second coming from various traditions within the church.
A History of Christian Doctrine, vol. 1 can be purchased here.
William G. T. Shedd was born in 1820 in Acton, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Vermont, where he studied under James Marsh and encountered the writings of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He graduated in 1839 and entered Andover Theological Seminary, where he studied under Leonard Woods. At Andover, he became committed to Calvinism in general and Presbyterianism in particular. Upon graduating in 1843, he became a minister at the congregational church in Brandon, Vermont for two years. He taught at the University of Vermont from 1845 to 1852, at Auburn Theological Seminary from 1852 to 1854, and at Andover Theological Seminary from 1854 to 1862. He began teaching at Union Theological Seminary in 1864, where he remained until his death in 1894. While at Union, he defended the Reformed theology of Old School Presbyterianism against the increasing influence of modernism and higher criticism. In addition to the works included in this collection, he is also well-known for his 7-volume Complete Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his Dogmatic Theology, available from Logos.