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bMS 206

Adams, James Luther, 1901-1994. Papers, 1981-1986: A Finding Aid.

Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University

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Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: bMS 206
Repository: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University
Title: Adams, James Luther, 1901-1994. Papers, 1981-1986.
Date(s): 1981-1986.
Quantity: 3 boxes
Abstract: This collection consists of copies of transcriptions of roughly twenty-one tapes which contain interviews with Adams which reflect his thoughts and observations on several events which occurred during his life.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of James Luther Adams.

Access:

There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Related Materials

For related collections, please see bMS 603.

Biographical / Historical

James Luther Adams (1901-1994) is considered to be the most influential theologian among American Unitarian Universalists in the twentieth century. He was born in Ritzville, Washington, and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1924 and Harvard Divinity School in 1927. He was ordained as a Unitarian minister in 1927 at the Second Church in Salem, where he served as minister until 1934. He was also a minister in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, from 1934 to 1935. Adams taught at the Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago from 1936 to 1943, and in 1946 he earned a PhD from the University of Chicago. In 1957, he left Chicago to join the faculty of Harvard Divinity School, where he was Professor of Christian Ethics. He retired from Harvard in 1968, but continued to teach at Andover Newton Theological Seminary and Meadville Lombard. In his teaching, Adams promoted the works of Paul Tillich, Ernst Troeltsch, and Karl Holl, and focused on the theology of social ethics.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of copies of transcriptions of roughly twenty-one tapes which contain interviews with Adams which reflect his thoughts and observations on several events which occurred during his life. These events include his experiences of Vatican II, his interactions with Paul Tillich and other theologians, and his time in Nazi Germany. The collection also includes various lectures delivered by Adams. Much of this material was used in Adams' autobiography entitled Not Without Dust and Heat: A Memoir which was published in 1995.

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