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Harry Emerson Fosdick Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

HARRY EMERSON FOSDICK
Born: May 24, 1878 in Buffalo, New York
Died: October 5, 1969 in Bronxville, New York
Biography | show moreshow less
Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) was ordained a Baptist minister in 1903. Although he was Baptist, he was liberal and became Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in New York (1918-1924). In 1922, he delivered his sermon "Shall the Fundamentalist Win?" and became a central figure in the conflict between fundamentalists and liberal Protestants in the 1920s & 1930s. He presented the Bible as a record of the "unfolding of God's will," not as the literal "Word of God". In 1923, the Church ordered an investigation of his views and he resigned in 1924. He was immediately hired by the Park Avenue Baptist Church -whose most famous member was John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who funded the construction of the interdenominational Riverside Church where Fosdick became the Pastor. It should be noted that Fosdick's brother, Raymond, ran the Rockefeller Foundation for three decades, beginning in 1921, and it funded the nation-wide distribution of his famous sermon that was re-titled "The New Knowledge and the Christian Faith".  An outspoken opponent of racism and injustice, he also supported appeasement of Hitler-arguing "moral equivalence", i.e. that the democracies were to blame for the rise of fascism. Fosdick reviewed the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous (1939), was an active member of the American Friends of the Middle East, and a founder of the Committee for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land.

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