After a year and a half of dedicated labor, the first volume of the Mercersburg Theology Study Series, The Mystical Presence and the Doctrine of the Reformed Church on the Lord’s Supper (ed. Linden J. DeBie, foreword by Mark Noll), was published at the end of last month, and is now available to order from Wipfandstock.com. Encompassing the most comprehensive and (I hope) most reader-friendly edition of The Mystical Presence to date, and the first edition of the extraordinary essay “The Doctrine of the Reformed Church on the Lord’s Supper” in forty-five years, this “handsome new edition . . . deserves to be studied and savored by pastors and scholars alike” (George Hunsinger; see additional endorsements below). Indeed, this volume promises to be a valuable contribution to studies not merely of Mercersburg and nineteenth-century American theology, but of Reformed eucharistic theology more broadly, as Nevin’s study …
“Over a century ago, John Williamson Nevin planted an exotic seed in the ground of American Protestantism. With his colleague Philip Schaff, Nevin cultivated a high-church, liturgical and sacramental Protestantism that starkly contrasted with and sharply challenged the populist revivalism around him. The Mercersburg Theology sprouted but quickly withered. By launching this excellent new edition of Nevin’s works, Brad Littlejohn and his colleagues give us hope that it is finally time for the dead seed to grow into a tree. May it bear much fruit.”
—Peter J. Leithart
Senior Fellow of Theology and Literature, Dean of Graduate Studies, New St. Andrews College
“Karl Barth’s commentary on Romans was not the first bomb to fall on the playground of theologians. John Williamson Nevin’s The Mystical Presence had a similar effect on the nineteenth-century American church. His appeal for a return to the sacramental views …
“John Williamson Nevin was one of the few nineteenth-century theologians whose works continue to exert influence on our own era. No single book on sacramental thought from nineteenth century America has attracted more attention in the past half century than The Mystical Presence. Nevin offered a sophisticated and learned option to the sacramental theologies prevalent in the Protestantism of his own time and to conceptions of the sacrament that remain popular even today among countless Protestants. Not only did he challenge the forms of Protestant revivalist piety popular in his own era but he also produced a work that raises profound questions about popular views of sacraments in our own time. This new edition by Linden J. DeBie and W. Bradford Littlejohn clarifies his importance by placing his work in its American context, showing his engagement with European theologians, and locating …
Volume 1 of the Mercersburg Theology Study Series, edited by Rev. Dr. Linden DeBie and entitled The Mystical Presence and the Doctrine of the Reformed Church on the Lord’s Supper, is currently in the hands of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Typesettting is nearly complete and only indexing lies ahead, so we hope to be able to announce the release of this volume a bit later this Spring.
Endorsements from George Hunsinger, E. Brooks Holifield, Peter J. Leithart, and Michael Horton are forthcoming.
Check out the flyer for the Study Series!
Dr. Mark Noll, the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, has penned the foreword for Volume 1 of the Mercersburg Theology Study Series—The Mystical Presence and the Doctrine of the Reformed Church on the Lord’s Supper (edited by Linden DeBie). Some excerpts from his excellent orientation:
“This is the first volume of what the organizers of this series plan as an extended edition of the works of John W. Nevin, of his colleagues at the Mercersburg Seminary in the 1840s and 1850s, and of some who in those same years objected to Mercersburg views. For a clearer picture of the United States’ unduly neglected theological history of the period—as well as a most welcome stimulus to theological reflection in our own day–the edition is a godsend.
Nevin, whose biography and general theological contributions are spelled out with …
The manuscript for Volume One of the Mercersburg Theology Study Series is nearing completion. This volume, edited by Rev. Dr. Linden DeBie, contains the most famous work of the Mercersburg movement, John Nevin’s The Mystical Presence, together with his brilliant follow-up essay, “The Doctrine of the Reformed Church on the Lord’s Supper.” After nearly a year of intensive work, the manuscript has now been sent off to Dr. Mark Noll of the University of Notre Dame, who will be providing a foreword for the volume. Soon it will be undergoing final revisions at the hands of our copy-editor, and then it’s off to the publisher. Stay tuned for further updates and endorsements as we draw nearer the publication date.