Date of Award

Spring 1997

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Hughson, D. T.

Second Advisor

Carey, Patrick

Third Advisor

Hinze, Bradford E.


William Porcher DuBose (1836-1918) is recognized and appreciated by many as the most original and creative theologian to appear in the more than 200-year history of the Episcopal Church. Unfortunately, DuBose's work is much more widely honored than understood or applied to the questions facing theologians and members of the Church today. This dissertation presents a biographical study of DuBose that draws out the parallels between key experiences in his life and major themes in his published theology. It presents a consideration of the role of experience in his theological method, and an analysis of his theological system in terms of his soteriology, christology, pneumatology, and ecclesiology. It also explores the relevance of DuBose's theological vision for the life and unity of the Church today. DuBose's systematic theology of salvation was a spiritual theology that integrated his personal journey of faith and human experience with his own appropriation and creative rediscovery of the Christian tradition. His own theology was deeply rooted in his entire life experience, especially the "turning points" in his life that reflected his participation in the saving process. DuBose's emphasis on the reality of salvation reflects his strong emphasis on the role of human experience in the process of salvation and in theological reflection. DuBose's theology is tightly interwoven, and the various aspects of his theological work are formative for each other. The unity of DuBose's theology is best understood as a systematic analysis of the saving process. The objective offer of life in Christ may be subjectively realized in us by the active working of the Spirit in the Church. The Incarnation thus continues in our lives and community for salvation. The completion of the saving process will mean our at-one-ment with God. The unity with Christ that saves us is the same unity that we may discover with one another in Christ. This unity may be discovered as we allow our differences to "work themselves out" in the open forum of the Church.



Restricted Access Item

Having trouble?