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The education of Phillips Brooks /
John F. Woolverton.
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c1995.
xiv, 153 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
025202186X (alk. paper)
More Details
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c1995.
025202186X (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [115]-148) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-03:
Phillips Brooks (1835-93) was a Broad Church Episcopalian cleric and eventually bishop, who became one of America's celebrity preachers and a virtual institution in Boston during the last two decades of his life. No adequate modern biography of this important figure exists, but Woolverton has taken an admirable first step by recounting Brooks's formative educational and intellectual experiences in the decade--the 1850s--before his first pastorate, while giving preliminary attention as well to his later career and thought. Drawing inspiration from both the New England Puritan tradition and the contemporary Romantic movement in literature and theology, Brooks developed a unique Christocentric theology. It was not evangelical in the popular sense, but it was far closer to the Protestant mainstream than the Anglo-Catholic party in his denomination with its vision of a separate Anglican-Episcopalian identity. Like the best of such studies, this one so carefully contextualizes the subject as to make a valuable contribution to the larger history of American culture in the time and place. Notes. Upper-division undergraduate; graduate; faculty; general. T. D. Bozeman; University of Iowa
Review Quotes
"A valuable contribution to the larger history of American culture in the time and place." -- Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 1996
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Unpaid Annotation
The Education of Phillips Brooks probes the formative years of one of the best-known figures of Victorian America's "Gilded Age". Rigorously researched, bringing as yet untapped archival material into play, John F. Woolverton's book is an extremely readable and fascinating look at a gifted, persuasive clergyman and public figure. The sermon Brooks delivered at his Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia while Abraham Lincoln's body lay in state overnight in Independence Hall was published, making him nationally famous overnight. He also is known for penning the lyrics to "O Little Town of Bethlehem". Although Brooks was not a major theologian, he was nurtured in an atmosphere of serious religious thought. In the crisis era of pre-Civil War America, he sought a religious and cultural ideal in the "perfect manhood" of Jesus Christ and consequently "won a name" for himself, as his slightly envious cousin, Henry Adams, once remarked. Woolverton places Brooks in his cultural context and shows how this religious leader was shaped psychologically and by his times and how those factors helped him forge a spiritual ideal for a troubled nation.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
New England Religion and Doting Parentsp. 11
Growing Up in Boston's High Culturep. 27
Failure and the Poetry of Heroicsp. 43
Virginia Seminary: Slavery and Evangelicalismp. 66
The Search for the Ideal: Reading the Text for Oneselfp. 80
Conclusionp. 103
Notesp. 115
Indexp. 149
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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