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First written during the winter of 1853–1854 as an introductory course on ecclesiastical history at Andover Theological Seminary, these four lectures tackle the idea of history, the nature and definition of secular history, and the nature of church history. These lectures lay the theoretical groundwork for Shedd’s 2-volume History of Christian Doctrine—also included in this collection.

Author Bio

William Shedd (1820–1894) is considered one of the greatest theologians of the American Presbyterian church. He studied at the University of Vermont under James Marsh, where he encountered the writings of Samuel Taylor. Shedd graduated from Andover Theological Seminary in 1843 and, soon after, became a minister for a congregational church in Vermont for two years.

Shedd taught at many universities, including University of Vermont, Auburn Theological Seminary, Andover Theological Seminary, and Union Theological Seminary. While at Union, Shedd defended the Reformed theology of Old School Presbyterian against the increasing influence of modernism and higher criticism.

One of Shedd’s better-known titles is Dogmatic Theology. Other titles include A History of Christian Doctrine and The Doctrine of Endless Punishment, which can be found in the William G. T. Shedd Collection.