Who is Lyman Abbott? Information on American clergyman, editor, and author Lyman Abbott biography, life story and works.
Lyman Abbott ; (1835-1922), American clergyman, editor, and author. He was born at Roxbury, Mass., on Dec. 18, 1835. He graduated from New York University in 1853 and became a lawyer. In 1855 he married Abby Frances Hamlin. Inspired by the famous preacher of Brooklyn’s Plymouth Congregational Church, Henry Ward Beecher, Abbott entered the ministry. After private study, he was ordained by a Congregational council in Maine and served a church in Terre Haute, Ind., from 1860 to 1865. He participated in Freedmen’s Aid work after the Civil War.
Abbott found his major role in religious journalism. In 1876 he joined Beecher in editing the Christian Union and quickly became the central figure in the journal. Renamed the Outlook in 1893, it became a highly influential paper, a channel of Abbott’s views to the end of his long life. He was also a nationally known platform and pulpit figure; he was Beecher’s successor at Plymouth Church (1887-1899).
Abbott became one of the most articulate champions of the “New Theology,” a liberal interpretation of evangelical faith. In many of his writings, which included nearly 40 books, he sought to mediate between orthodox religious views and current scientific thought, as in The Theology of an Evolutionist (1897). He was a major spokesman for the social gospel. Abbott died at New York City on Oct. 22, 1922.