Andrew Hoffecker on Charles Hodge and Princeton Theological Seminary
Date: January 16th, 2012

Happy Birthday Princeton Theological Seminary!  To help celebrate the PTS bicentennial, Research on Religion offers up the gift of a discussion on one of its most prolific theologians, Charles Hodge.  Prof. Andrew Hoffecker, emeritus professor of history at the Reformed Theological Seminary, discusses his new biography of Charles Hodge (1797 – 1878).  Rev. Hodge epitomizes many of the different theological and social tensions that were confronting both the Presbyterian Church and the United States during the first half of the 19th century.  We begin by tracing Hodge’s life and decision to pursue an academic career at the recently created Princeton Theological Seminary and spend time looking at his two year sojourn in Germany to experience some of the new intellectual trends appearing at the University of Berlin.  Halfway through our discussion, Prof. Hoffecker and I ruminate about the effect that intellectualized seminary training may have on the emotional aspects of spiritual faith and how this might affect denominations.  We then return to the United States and look at Charles Hodge’s academic career, including the founding of The Princeton Review and his various positions on controversies dividing Presbyterianism, most notably the 1837 schism.  Andy also touches upon Hodge’s positions regarding religious education, Catholicism, and slavery – controversies that were roiling during Hodge’s long career.  Our conversation finishes with Prof. Hoffecker discussing Rev. Hodge’s impact on American religiosity and society at large.  We note the important role that Hodge played in shaping the evangelical and fundamentalist movements that were to appear at the turn of the 20th century.  Recorded: December 30, 2011.



W. Andrew Hoffecker’s website at Reformed Theological Seminary.

Charles Hodge: The Pride of Princeton by W. Andrew Hoffecker.

Piety and the Princeton Theologians by W. Andrew Hoffecker.

Princeton Theological Seminary.


Thomas Kidd on the Great Awakening.

One Response to “Andrew Hoffecker on Charles Hodge and Princeton Theological Seminary”

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