Search - List of Books by Harry Emerson Fosdick

"Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it." -- Harry Emerson Fosdick
Harry Emerson Fosdick (May 24, 1878-October 5, 1969) was an American clergyman. He was born in Buffalo, New York. He graduated from Colgate University in 1900, and Union Theological Seminary in 1904. While attending Colgate University he joined the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1903 at the Madison Avenue Baptist Church at 31st Street. Fosdick was the most prominent liberal Baptist minister of the early 20th Century. Although a Baptist, he was Guest Preacher, at First Presbyterian Church on West Twelfth Street and then at the historic, interdenominational Riverside Church (the congregation moved from the then-named Park Avenue Baptist Church, now the Central Presbyterian Church ) in New York City.

Fosdick became a central figure in the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy within American Protestantism in the 1920s and 1930s. While at First Presbyterian Church, on May 21, 1922, he delivered his famous sermon “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?”, in which he defended the modernist position. In that sermon, he presented the Bible as a record of the unfolding of God’s will, not as the literal Word of God. He saw the history of Christianity as one of development, progress, and gradual change. To the fundamentalists, this was rank apostasy, and the battle lines were drawn.

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. (Northern) in 1923 charged his local presbytery to conduct an investigation of his views. A commission began an investigation, as required. His defense was conducted by a lay elder, John Foster Dulles, whose father was a well-known liberal Presbyterian seminary professor. Fosdick escaped probable censure at a formal trial by the 1924 General Assembly by resigning from the pulpit in 1924. He was immediately hired as pastor of a Baptist church whose most famous member was John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who then funded the Riverside Church in Manhattan's Morningside Heights area overlooking the Hudson River, where Fosdick became pastor as soon as the doors opened in October 1930, prompting a Time magazine cover story on October 6, 1930 (pictured). In it, Time said that Fosdick "proposes to give this educated community a place of greatest beauty for worship. He also proposes to serve the social needs of the somewhat lonely metropolite. Hence on a vast scale he has built all the accessories of a community church ... gymnasium, assembly room for theatricals, dining rooms, etc...In ten stories of the 22-story belltower are classrooms for the religious and social training of the young...".

Fosdick's brother Raymond ran the Rockefeller Foundation for three decades, beginning in 1921. Rockefeller had funded the nation-wide distribution of Shall the Fundamentalists Win?, although with a more cautious title, The New Knowledge and the Christian Faith. This direct-mail project was designed by Ivy Lee, who had worked since 1914 as an independent contractor in public relations for the Rockfellers.

Fosdick was an outspoken opponent of racism and injustice. Alleged victim Ruby Bates credited him with persuading her to testify for the defense in the 1933 retrial of the infamous and racially charged case of the Scottsboro Boys in which nine black youths were tried before all white juries for raping white women, Bates and her companion, Victoria Price in Alabama. Fosdick also supported appeasement of Hitler and argued "moral equivalence", i.e. that the democracies were largely to blame for the rise of fascism:

"The all but unanimous judgment seems to be that we, the democracies, are just as responsible for the rise of the dictators as the dictatorships themselves, and perhaps more so."Fosdick's sermons won him wide recognition, as did his radio addresses which were nationally broadcast. He authored numerous books, and many of his sermon collections are still in print. He is also the author of the hymn, "God of Grace and God of Glory".

Fosdick's book A Guide to Understanding the Bible traces the beliefs of the people who wrote the Bible, from the ancient beliefs of the Hebrews, which he regarded as practically pagan, to the faith and hopes of the New Testament writers.

His brother, Raymond Fosdick, was essentially in charge of philanthropy for John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Fosdick had a daughter, Dorothy Fosdick, who was foreign policy adviser to Henry M. Jackson.

He was the nephew of Charles Austin Fosdick, a popular author of adventure books for boys who wrote under the pen name Harry Castlemon.

Fosdick reviewed the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939, giving it his approval. AA members continue to point to this review as significant in the development of the AA movement.

Fosdick was an active member of the American Friends of the Middle East, a founder of the Committee for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land, and an active "anti-Zionist."

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Total Books: 138
Christianity and War A Plea for Pacifism
2016 - Christianity and War a Plea for Pacifism (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781530824267
ISBN-10: 1530824265
Genre: Politics & Social Sciences
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Shall the Fundamentalists Win Or The New Knowledge and the Christian Faith
The Second Mile
2010 - The Second Mile (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781161490824
ISBN-10: 1161490825
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The Meaning of Prayer
2010 - The Meaning of Prayer [Classic Reprint] (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781440087790
ISBN-10: 1440087792
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The Meaning of Faith
2010 - The Meaning of Faith (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781142358761
ISBN-10: 1142358763
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The Assurance of Immortality
2010 - The Assurance of Immortality (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781141417629
ISBN-10: 1141417626
Genre: Religion & Spirituality
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The Challenge of the Present Crisis
2010 - The Challenge of the Present Crisis (Paperback)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781141484423
ISBN-10: 1141484420
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The Manhood of the Master
2010 - The Manhood of the Master (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781141792580
ISBN-10: 1141792583
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Christianity and Progress
2009 - Christianity and Progress (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781438533070
ISBN-10: 1438533071
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The Meaning of Service
2009 - The Meaning of Service (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781150407208
ISBN-10: 1150407204
Genre: Christian Books & Bibles
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The American Hymnal
2009 - The American Hymnal (Paperback)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781115219051
ISBN-10: 1115219057
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The Meaning Of Prayer And The Secret Of Victorious Living
2007 - The Meaning of Prayer and the Secret of VIctorious Living (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780548078105
ISBN-10: 0548078106
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The Assurance Of Immortality And The Meaning Of Prayer
2007 - The Assurance of Immortality and the Meaning of Prayer (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780548080214
ISBN-10: 0548080216
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The Assurance Of Immortality And The Secret Of Victorious Living
A Pilgrimage To Palestine
2007 - A Pilgrimage to Palestine (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781406744897
ISBN-10: 1406744891
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The Possibility Of Immortality
2005 - The Possibility of Immortality (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781425338381
ISBN-10: 1425338380
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Long Ropes And Strong Stakes
2005 - Long Ropes and Strong Stakes (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781425368982
ISBN-10: 1425368980
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A High Opinion Of Oneself
2005 - A High Opinion of Oneself (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781425368999
ISBN-10: 1425368999
Genre: Christian Books & Bibles
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Seeing The Invisible
2005 - Seeing the Invisible (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781425369002
ISBN-10: 1425369006
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The Privilege Of Living
2005 - The Privilege of Living (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781425369019
ISBN-10: 1425369014
Genre: Christian Books & Bibles
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Minding One's Own Business
2005 - Minding One's Own Business (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781425369026
ISBN-10: 1425369022
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