An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Allen, Alexander Viets Griswold

(May 4, 1841-July 1, 1908). Theologian and broad churchman. He was born in a vicarage in western Massachusetts to a family deeply rooted in the Episcopal Church of New England. Educated at Kenyon College, Bexley Hall, and Andover Theological Seminary, he was ordained deacon on July 5, 1865, and priest on June 24, 1866. He served St. John's Church, Lawrence, Massachusetts, before joining the inaugurating faculty of the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1867. His thought and broad church stance were substantially shaped by his attention to such English broad church leaders as Frederick William Robertson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Frederick Denison Maurice. His two major works, The Continuity of Christian Thought (1884) and Christian Institutions (1897), represent his broad and spacious incarnational theology and his probing methodology. He once said of himself, "I am always moving, as it seems to me, underground, beneath institutions and customs and formulas of thought, and trying to get at some deeper meaning." He also wrote Life and Letters of Phillips Brooks, 2 vols. (1900).

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.