Robert Lewis Dabney: A Southern Presbyterian Life (American Reformed Biographies)
Lucas, Sean Michael
"An important resource. Lucas draws on the many sources for knowledge of Dabney's life and thought, places him squarely in his historical setting, and appropriately blaances and relates the biographical and theological parts of his task. he also points out, and wrestles ably with, some of the knotty questions that Dabney's story and his legacy still pose for his present-day admirers and critics."See All
Jack P. Maddex Jr.
Professor of History, University of Oregon
"Lucas's brisk, delightfully clear writing masks the great difficulty of his achievement. He gets closer to the ideal of objectiveity than Dabney's contemporaries - let alone Lucas's own contemporaries - could probably imagine. This book is a tremendous feat of Scholarly labor and intellectual discipline."See All
David l. Chappell
author of A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion an dthe Death of Jim Crow
"A model biography - Accurate, interesting, sympathetic, and critical. Dr. Lucas has mastered his material, and the result is a portrait of Dabney that will live on. Not only do we come to know the great Virginian better in this book, but we also are given a wonderfully nuanced treatment of the political, intellectual, and ecclesiastical climate of the nineteenth-century South."See All
David B. Calhoun
Professor of Church History, Covenant Theological Seminary
"The nineteenth-century Southern Church boasted intellectually and morally impressive men who exercised considerable influence over political and social life. Among them, none overmatched Robert Lewis Dabney as a theologian, teacher, and social critic. Sean Lucas has provided a long-needed critical study of this great if problematic man, thereby illuminating our time as well as his"See All
Eugene D. Genovese
past president, The Historical Society
Presents Dabney (1820-1898), a leading theologian of his day, as a representative southern Presbyterian who provides a window into the postbellum southern Presbyterian mind.
As this biography explains, "Dabney was far more complex than either historians or admirers concede." He was "in many ways a representative man, one who embodied the passions and contradictions of nineteenth-century Southerners." As such he "provides a window into the postbellum Southern Presbyterian mind" and a reminder of how important nineteenth-century theology is for contemporary issues and debates. Because the past is parent of the present, recognizing Dabney's flaws can help us implement the biblical motto on his tombstone: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
Before the Civil War Dabney was a sectional moderate, but he soon became a Confederate sectionalist, serving as chaplain in the Confederate Army and then as an office under General Stonewall Jackson. Dabney's systematic theology text was used at Union for more than forty years after his death. In the 1980s publishers began to reprint this and other works.
Dabney has been described as an "apostle of the Old South," a perception that may explain why this biography is the first of this key nineteenth-century leader in more than one hundred years. It is also the inaugural volume in the american Reformed Biography Series.
About the Author
Sean Michael Lucas (Ph.D., Westminster Theological Seminary) teaches church history and is coordinator of candidate relations at Covenant Theological seminary. He co-edited The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards and, with D. G. Hart, is the co-editor of the American Reformed Biographies series.