Theological tinkering

The Puritan as Yankee: A Life of Horace Bushnell. By Robert Bruce Mullin. Eerdmans, 296 pp., $21.00 paperback.

Horace Bushnell (1802-1876) is "more often talked about than read," this volume in Eerdmans's Library of Religious Biography series declares. Church historian Robert Bruce Mullin sheds new light on one of the most enigmatic figures in the history of American theology. Rather than giving the usual interpretation of Bushnell as a pioneer of 19th-century American theological liberalism, Mullin portrays him as an orthodox figure who attempted to redefine the earlier Puritan theological and cultural heritage of his native New England. Although Mullin concedes that Bushnell was an important theological innovator, he was also "a great tinkerer, always interested in improving that which he found before him."

 

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