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New Haven Theology

An American theological position associated with N.W. Taylor,* his students, and Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut. Sometimes known as “Taylorism,” the theology of this school was a modified Calvinism used to provide an apologetic for the revivalism of the [[Second Great Awakening]].* The [[New Haven Theology]] stood in contrast to the somewhat older theology of [[Samuel Hopkins]]* known as “Consistent Calvinism,” the system stressing divine sovereignty, total human depravity and inability, and the idea of “disinterested benevolence”-the willingness to be damned for the glory of God. The New Haven Theology developed at a time when the Unitarian controversy was dividing many New England churches. Taylor and his followers attempted to use a rationalistic apologetic to defend Trinitarianism and to support experiential religious conversion. Taylor made a distinction between certainty and necessity: man sins inevitably and certainly, but not necessarily. Thus sin is voluntary.