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Identifying the Image of GodRadical Christians and Nonviolent Power in the Antebellum United States$
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Dan McKanan

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195145328

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195145321.001.0001

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The Gospel, the Declaration, and the Divine Child

The Gospel, the Declaration, and the Divine Child

Theology and Literature of Ultra Reform

Chapter:
(p.66) 3 The Gospel, the Declaration, and the Divine Child
Source:
Identifying the Image of God
Author(s):

Dan McKanan (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195145321.003.0004

Examines both theoretical and literary expressions of the “ultra” reform tradition. This tradition was shaped by the charismatic personality of William Lloyd Garrison (editor of The Liberator) and the radical pacifism movement known as nonresistance. The theology of nonresistance held, first, that the gospel demands a practice of nonviolent love; second, that humans possess sufficient natural virtue to fulfil that gospel mandate; and third, that no human being should be subordinated to any other. These ideas found literary expression in Henry Clarke Wright's autobiography, Human Life, and in Sylvester Judd's novel, Margaret. Yet these novels also betrayed the liberal faith in humanity to the extent that they assumed that true nonviolence could be achieved only by Christ‐like children, rather than by all people.

Keywords:   Christology, William Lloyd Garrison, gospel, Judd, Liberator, nonresistance, pacifism, ultra reform, Wright

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