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Inhaltsangabe: The aim I have had in view in writing this book has been to give a history of the origin of Unitarianism in the United States, how it has organized itself, and what it has accomplished. It seemed desirable to deal more fully than has been done hitherto with the obscure beginnings of the Unitarian movement in New England; but limits of space have made it impossible to treat this phase of the subject in other than a cursory manner. It deserves an exhaustive treatment, which will amply repay the necessary labor to this end. The theological controversies that led to the separation of the Unitarians from the older Congregational body have been only briefly alluded to, the design of my work not requiring an ampler treatment. It was not thought best to cover the ground so ably traversed by Rev. George E. Ellis, in his Half-century of the Unitarian Controversy; Rev. Joseph Henry Allen, in his Our Liberal Movement in Theology; Rev. William Channing Gannett, in his Memoir of Dr. Ezra Stiles Gannett; and by Rev. John White Chadwick, in his Old and New Unitarian Beliefs. The attempt here made has been to supplement these works, and to treat of the practical side of Unitarianism,--its organizations, charities, philanthropies, and reforms.
About the Author: George Willis Cooke (1848-1923), born in Comstock, Michigan, was a Unitarian minister, writer, editor, and lecturer best known now for his landmark history of the Unitarian movement in the 19th century and for his work on transcendentalist writers and publications. An insatiable reader throughout his life, Cooke was largely self-taught. His first major work, published in 1881, was Ralph Waldo Emerson: His Life, Writings and Philosophy. He wrote several other studies of transcendentalism, with particular attention to the utopian community, Brook Farm, and the transcendentalist periodical, The Dial.
His book, Unitarianism in America, first published in 1902, was the standard work on 19th century Unitarianism for some time and is still the major source of information on Unitarian developments in the early decades after the Unitarian controversy.
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