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Labor's Millennium

Christianity, Industrial Education, and the Founding of the University of Illinois

Princeton Theological Monograph Series

by Brett H. Smith

Imprint: Pickwick Publications

200 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.38 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781606080672
  • Published: January 2010

$25.00 / £19.00 / AU$34.00

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  • eBook
  • 9781630876944
  • Published: January 2010

$25.00 / £19.00 / AU$34.00

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  • Hardcover
  • 9781498252539
  • Published: January 2010

$43.00 / £33.00 / AU$59.00

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Historians have traditionally interpreted the American land-grant higher-education movement as the result of political and economic forces. Little attention has been given, however, to any explicit or implicit theological motivations for the movement. This book tells the story of how the Christian belief of many founders of the University of Illinois motivated their educational theory and practice. Constructing a social gospel of labor's millennium (their shorthand for God's kingdom being enhanced through agricultural and mechanical education), they initially proposed that the university would impart a millenarian blessing for the larger society by providing abundant food, economic prosperity, vocational dignity, and a charitable spirit of sacred unity and public service. Rich in primary-source research, Smith's account builds a compelling case for at least one such institution's adaptation of an inherited evangelical educational tradition, transitioning into a new era of higher learning that has left its mark on university life today.
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