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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.

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.