Paul L. Holmer Papers
Paul L. Holmer (1916–2004) was a unique and potent theological force. While his own reflections were su-generis and extraordinarily elusive, he had a pervasive and significant (but often unacknowledged) impact upon the development of Christian reflection in the United States in the second half of the twentieth century. Holmer served as Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota from 1946 to 1960, and then as the Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale Divinity School from 1960 to 1987. After his death in 2004, his family gave The Paul L. Holmer Papers, comprising thirty-eight archival boxes, to the Yale University Library, where they form the Holmer Papers Special Collection at Yale Divinity School Library.
Holmer’s thought is not as well known as its stature deserves. Holmer published only a few books during his lifetime, and many of his essays appeared in rather hard-to-find journals or only circulated in manuscript form. The editors have carefully reviewed the papers at Yale Divinity School, and have concluded that the publication of three volumes of The Paul L. Holmer Papers will serve to illuminate three important aspects of Holmer’s contributions to theology. In volume 1, we have painstakingly reconstructed Holmer’s unpublished, and much-rumored, book-length manuscript on Kierkegaard, presented under the title On Kierkegaard and the Truth. In volume 2, Thinking the Faith with Passion: Selected Essays, we have chosen some of the seminal essays that represent the wide scope of Holmer’s thought and interests. In volume 3, Communicating the Faith Indirectly: Selected Sermons, Addresses, and Prayers, we present another aspect of Holmer’s thought and work as philosopher and theologian, including both his reflections upon, and his practice of, the sermon or religious address.