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Walter Rauschenbusch


  Male      American      Theologian

  Born : Oct 04, 1861  -
  Died : Jul 25, 1918


About Author

Walter Rauschenbusch (1861–1918) was a Christian theologian and Baptist pastor who taught at the Rochester Theological Seminary. Rauschenbusch was a key figure in the Social Gospel and 'Single Tax' movements that flourished in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was also the maternal grandfather of the influential philosopher Richard Rorty and the great-grandfather of Paul Raushenbush.

Walter Rauschenbusch was born October 4, 1861 in Rochester, New York, to Augustus Rauschenbusch and the former Caroline Rump.

Though he went through a youthful rebellious period, at age 17 he experienced a personal religious conversion which "influenced my soul down to its depths." Like the Prodigal Son, he wrote, "I came to my Father, and I began to pray for help and got it." But he later felt that this experience was incomplete, focused on repentance from personal sins but not from social sins.

When he attended Rochester Theological Seminary, his early teachings were challenged. He learned of the Higher Criticism, which led him to later comment that his "inherited ideas about the inerrancy of the Bible became untenable." He also began to doubt the substitutionary atonement; in his words, "it was not taught by Jesus; it makes salvation dependent upon a trinitarian transaction that is remote from human experience; and it implies a concept of divine justice that is repugnant to human sensitivity." But rather than shaking his faith, these challenges reinforced his faith. He came to admire Congregationalist Horace Bushnell and Anglican Frederick W. Robertson...


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