Thomas Whittemore (Universalist)

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Thomas Whittemore grave, Mount Auburn Cemetery Thomas Whittemore - Sculpture in Mount Auburn Cemetery - DSC06491.JPG
Thomas Whittemore grave, Mount Auburn Cemetery

Thomas Whittemore (January 1, 1800 – March 21, 1861 in Cambridge, Massachusetts) was a Christian Universalist author, speaker and influential member of the Universalist Church of America. He founded and was the editor of The Trumpet and Universalist magazine, which succeeded the Universalist magazine of Hosea Ballou in 1828. [1] [2]

Cambridge, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and part of the Boston metropolitan area.

Universalist Church of America organization

The Universalist Church of America was a Christian Universalist religious denomination in the United States. Known from 1866 as the Universalist General Convention, the name was changed to the Universalist Church of America in 1942. In 1961, it consolidated with the American Unitarian Association to form the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Hosea Ballou American Universalist minister (1771–1852)

Hosea Ballou was an American Universalist clergyman and theological writer.

Contents

Like Ballou and Ballou's grand-nephew, Hosea Ballou II, first president of Tufts College, Whittemore contributed to Universalist historiography by identifying precedents for Universalist beliefs in earlier Christianity. [3] With Thomas J. Sawyer of New York, he co-founded the Universalist Historical Society in 1834. [4] These histories were influential in bringing many readers to regard the Christians of the first centuries as Universalists. [5]

Hosea Ballou II was an American Universalist minister and the first president of Tufts University from 1853 to 1861. Ballou was named after his uncle and went by the name "Hosea Ballou 2d. " Publishers, friends, editors, Tufts University staff, and others generally followed this example. The title of this Wikipedia article reflects the more recent generational suffix usage of the Roman numeral II for those named for an uncle. Note also that Ballou used the ordinal number suffix "2d" rather than "2nd."

Tufts University private research university in Medford/Somerville, Massachusetts

Tufts University is a private research university in Medford and Somerville, Massachusetts. A charter member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), Tufts College was founded in 1852 by Christian universalists who worked for years to open a nonsectarian institution of higher learning. It was a small New England liberal arts college until its transformation into a larger research university in the 1970s. The university emphasizes active citizenship and public service in all its disciplines, and is known for its internationalism and study abroad programs.

Massachusetts Legislature

From 1831-1836, Whittemore served as Cambridge's representative in the Massachusetts legislature, serving as chair of the committee that oversaw the disestablishment of the Congregational Church and Unitarian Church, to whose special status Whittemore was opposed, from the privileged position they had been accorded in the Massachusetts Constitution. Whittmore held that "no civil government has a right to compel the citizens to support any system of religion whatsoever" and supported calls for a popular referendum on the separation of church and state in 1834. The results of that referendum brought Massachusetts into accord with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. [6] [7] [8]

The American Unitarian Association (AUA) was a religious denomination in the United States and Canada, formed by associated Unitarian congregations in 1825. In 1961, it consolidated with the Universalist Church of America to form the Unitarian Universalist Association.

The separation of church and state is a philosophic and jurisprudential concept for defining political distance in the relationship between religious organizations and the nation state. Conceptually, the term refers to the creation of a secular state and to disestablishment, the changing of an existing, formal relationship between the church and the state.

First Amendment to the United States Constitution Law guaranteeing freedom of speech, religion, assembly, press and petitions and prohibiting establishment of an official religion

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the government from making laws which respect an establishment of religion, prohibit the free exercise of religion, or abridge the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

He was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery.

His papers are in the Andover-Harvard Theological Library at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Thomas Whittemore family papers are at Tufts University's Digital Collections and Archives.

Harvard Divinity School seminary

Harvard Divinity School is one of the constituent schools of Harvard University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. As of June 2015, the school's mission is to train and educate its students either in the academic study of religion, or for the practice of a religious ministry or other public service vocation. It also caters to students from other Harvard schools that are interested in the former field. Harvard Divinity School is among a small group of university-based, non-denominational divinity schools in the United States (the others include the University of Chicago Divinity School, Yale Divinity School, Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Wake Forest University School of Divinity, and Claremont Graduate University-School of Religion.

Ideas

"The glory of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ, as manifested in the final holiness and happiness of all men, is the central sun of Universalism."

-Thomas Whittemore, Plain Guide to Universalism [9]

Works

Notes

  1. Paul Finkelman Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century 2001 "Thomas Whittemore (1800-1861) Whittemore was one of Universalism's most ardent defenders and the editor of Trumpet and Universalist'"
  2. UUA org bio Archived 2010-10-01 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Whittemore, The early days of Thomas Whittemore: An Autobiography "extended through nine years; edited in the first two volumes by Rev. Hosea Ballou; in a part of the second, and up to the end of the seventh volume, by Hosea Ballou, Hosea Ballou, 2d, and Thomas Whittemore"
  4. Russell E. Miller The larger hope: the first century of the Universalist Church in 1979 "became the Universalist Historical Society in 1834 was shared by Thomas J. Sawyer of New York, and Thomas Whittemore, editor of the Trumpet in Boston. According to Whittemore, it was Sawyer who originally conceived the idea.
  5. George Huntston Williams American universalism: a bicentennial historical essay (1976), p 94
  6. Alan Seaburg, Thomas Dahill Cambridge on the Charles (2001), p. 26
  7. The Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History Vol. 1, ed. Michael Kazin, Rebecca Edwards, Adam Rothman (2009), "Disestablishment of the Congregationalist churches in Massachusetts"
  8. Stephen Higginson Clark The Politics of Disestablishment in Massachusetts, 1820-1833 (1965)
  9. 1 2 John Benedict Buescher, The other side of salvation: spiritualism and the Nineteenth-Century Religious Experience (2004)

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