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To Count Our Days: A History of Columbia Theological Seminary (Hardback)
  • To Count Our Days: A History of Columbia Theological Seminary (Hardback)
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To Count Our Days: A History of Columbia Theological Seminary (Hardback)

(author)
£53.50
Hardback 416 Pages / Published: 30/08/2019
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Columbia Theological Seminary's rich history provides a window into the social and intellectual life of the American South. A Presbyterian seminary for the preparation of well-educated, mannerly ministers, it was located during its first one hundred years in Columbia, South Carolina. During the antebellum period, it was known for its affluent and intellectually sophisticated board, faculty, and students. Its leaders sought to follow a middle way on the great intellectual and social issues of the day, including slavery. Columbia's leaders, Unionists until the election of Lincoln, became ardent supporters of the Confederacy. While the seminary survived the defeat of the Confederacy, it was left impoverished and poorly situated to meet the challenges of the modern world.

In 1928 the seminary moved to Decatur, Georgia, also signifying a transition from the Old South toward the New (mercantile) South. Unfortunately the seminary brought to its handsome new campus the theological rigidity and racist assumptions of the Old South. Under the leadership of James McDowell Richards, Columbia slowly commenced its long struggle against its deeply embedded racism. By the final decade of the twentieth century, Columbia had become one of the most highly endowed seminaries in the country, had internationally recognized faculty, and had students from all over the world.

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, Columbia named its first female president and embraced a new, broad diversity in faculty and students - stripping away any vestiges of its ties to the Old South. Columbia's evolution has challenged assumptions about what it means to be Presbyterian, southern, and American, as the seminary continues its primary mission of providing a learned Presbyterian ministry.

Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
ISBN: 9781611179965
Number of pages: 416
Dimensions: 178 x 254 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"In his preface the author declares that institutional histories are not usually page-turning narratives; but then the book itself turns out to be the exception. This is a well written and carefully documented history not only of Columbia Theological Seminary, but also of the interplay among culture, theology, and theological institutions. This is necessary reading for anyone seeking to discern the future of theological education in the twenty-first century." -- Justo L. Gonz lez, Church Historian
"To Count Our Days will bring even more readers to the ranks of Erskine Clarke's admirers. Its pages brim with memorable characters, transformative events, and hard-fought controversies. Clarke's narrative yields a compelling account of Columbia Theological Seminary's evolving stance on racial justice in the South." -- Christine Heyrman, University of Delaware
"Clarke's engaging history of one institution is also an incisive study of change in Southern culture. This is institutional history at its best. Clarke takes us inside a school of theology but also lets us feel the outside forces always pressing in on it, and he writes with the skill of a novelist. A remarkable accomplishment." -- E. Brooks Holifield, Emory University

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