James Freeman Clarke

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Clarke studied at the Boston Latin-school, and was graduated at Harvard in 1829, and at Cambridge divinity-school in 1833. From 1833 till 1840 he was pastor of the Unitarian church in Louisville, Kentucky, and also edited the "Western Messenger" (Louisville) from 1836 till 1839. He then returned to Boston, where, in 1841, he founded the Church of the Disciples, of which he was pastor for forty-five years. In this church the seats were free, and the worship, a form devised by Dr. Clarke, combined the features of responses on the part of the congregation as in the English church, the extempore prayer of the Congregationalists, and the silent prayer of the Friends. He was prominent in all educational and reform movements in Boston. For many years he has been one of the overseers of Harvard University, where, from 1867 till 1871, he was professor of natural religion and Christian doctrine, and during 1876-77 lecturer on ethnic religions. He was also a member of the State board of education, and trustee of the Boston public library.


The Favorite Texts of Jesus (1864) - A consideration of the way Jesus used the Bible and an encouragement for us to use it the same way.

On Orthodoxy (1866) - (excerpt) Highlights the fact that truth begins with a minority.

Why Do We Believe in God? Or: Evidences of Theism (1870) - This article is a chapter from the book Steps of Belief; or, Rational Christianity Maintained Against Atheism, Free Religion, and Romanism. The book is a compilation of lectures that James Freeman Clarke preached at Boston's Church of the Disciples, where he was pastor and co-founder. 

Manual of Unitarian Belief (1884) - In this treatise, Clarke discusses 21 topics of belief and successfully represents the views of both traditional Unitarian Christians and the transcendentalists.


2003 American Unitarian Conference