John Williamson Nevin (1803-1886) was a leading nineteenth-century American theologian. Originally trained in the Presbyterian Church, he took up a teaching post at Mercersburg Seminary of the German Reformed Church in 1841, and spent the rest of his life teaching and writing in that denomination, though his controversial work brought him fame (and infamy) well beyond its borders.
Linden J. DeBie has taught at Seton Hall University and New Brunswick Theological Seminary. He is the author of Speculative Theology and Common-Sense Religion: Mercersburg and the Conservative Roots of American Religion (Pickwick, 2008).
W. Bradford Littlejohn is currently completing a PhD in Theological from the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of The Mercersburg Theology and the Quest for Reformed Catholicity (Pickwick, 2009).
The Mystical Presence: And The Doctrine of the Reformed Church on the Lord's Supperby John Williamson Nevin
The Mystical Presence (1846), John Williamson Nevin's magnum opus, was an attempt to combat the sectarianism and subjectivism of nineteenth-century American religion by recovering the robust sacramental and incarnational theology of the Protestant Reformation, enriched with the categories of German idealism. In it, he makes the historical case for the spiritual
The Mystical Presence (1846), John Williamson Nevin's magnum opus, was an attempt to combat the sectarianism and subjectivism of nineteenth-century American religion by recovering the robust sacramental and incarnational theology of the Protestant Reformation, enriched with the categories of German idealism. In it, he makes the historical case for the spiritual real presence as the authentic Reformed doctrine of the Eucharist, and explains the theological and philosophical context that render the doctrine intelligible. The 1850 article "The Doctrine of the Reformed Church on the Lord's Supper" represents his response to his arch critic, Charles Hodge of Princeton Seminary, providing what is still considered a definitive historical treatment of Reformed eucharistic theology. Both texts demonstrate Nevin's immense erudition and theological creativity, contributing to our understanding not only of Reformed theology, but also of the unique milieu of nineteenth-century American religion.
The present critical edition carefully preserves the original text, while providing extensive introductions, annotations, and bibliography to orient the modern reader and facilitate further scholarship.
The Mercersburg Theology Study Series is an attempt to make available for the first timein attractive, readable, and scholarly modern editionsthe key writings of the nineteenth-century movement known as the Mercersburg Theology. An ambitious multi-year project, this aims to make an important contribution to the academic community and to the broader reading public, who may at last be properly introduced to this unique blend of American and European, Reformed and Catholic theology.
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