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Lyman Abbott Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: December 18, 1835 in Roxbury, Massachusetts
Died: October 22, 1922 in New Windsor, New York
Biography | show moreshow less
Lyman Abbott (December 18, 1835 – October 22, 1922) was an influential American theologian, author, and editor known for his leadership in the Congregational Church and his writings on theology and social reform.

Born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, Abbott pursued legal studies and was admitted to the bar in 1856. However, his career trajectory shifted in the 1860s when he felt a religious calling. He left his legal practice behind and began theological studies, culminating in his ordination as a Congregational minister in 1860. Throughout his pastoral career, Abbott served several churches, but perhaps most notably, he became the pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church in Brooklyn, New York, succeeding the renowned Henry Ward Beecher in 1888. Under Abbott's leadership, the church continued to be a focal point for progressive religious thought and social activism.

Beyond his pastoral duties, Abbott made significant contributions as an editor and author. He became the editor of "The Christian Union" (later renamed "The Outlook") in 1876, a position he held for several decades. Under his stewardship, the publication addressed a wide range of issues, from theology to social reforms, reflecting Abbott's own progressive views. In the realm of theology, Abbott was recognized for his "evolutionary Christianity," where he sought to harmonize religious teachings with modern scientific thought. His writings, including books such as "The Evolution of Christianity" (1892) and "The Theology of an Evolutionist" (1897), elucidated these ideas and positioned him as a leading liberal theologian of his time.

Additionally, Abbott was an advocate for social reform. He supported workers' rights, championed the settlement house movement, and argued for a more compassionate approach to social welfare. His beliefs were grounded in the idea that Christianity demanded social action to better the lives of the less fortunate.

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