Hocking, William Ernest

( 18 7 3 - 1966 )
   American theologian and missiologist
   William Ernest Hocking was a philosopher and theologian whose controversial ideas on the Social Gospel and the global spread of Christianity had a substantial impact on the Protestant missionary endeavor.
   Hocking was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. (1904) degrees from Harvard University, where he taught from 1914 until his retirement in 1943. As a teenager, he had experienced conversion at a Methodist gathering, and as a philosopher he devoted considerable attention to personal perceptions of the divine, the subject of his first book, The Meaning of God in Human Experience (1912). He returned to the issue in later writings as well.
   His early METHODISM also left Hocking with an interest in the missionary enterprise. He wrote about the commonalities of religious experience between Christians and followers of other faiths. In an early work, Human Nature and Its Remaking (1918), he argued for a need to reshape human consciousness, and saw the Christian world mission as the means to accomplish that task. In his 1932 volume, Re-Thinking Missions, he criticized the exclusive claims of Christianity, and tried to address the challenges presented by secular worldviews. He also suggested that missionaries should deemphasize the search for converts and put more emphasis on social and medical needs.
   Hocking's approach provoked considerable controversy in ecumenical circles, and finally prompted a response from missiologist Hendrick Kramer, whose 1938 volume The Christian Message in a Non-Christian World criticized syncretism (mixing Christianity with elements from other religions). Kramer emphasized the discontinuity with one's religious past that came with the decision of faith in Christ.
   Within more conservative circles, Hocking became a symbol of all that was bad in modernism and liberal Protestantism. For example, his name surfaced in the controversy over missions that so engaged the Presbyterian Church (USA) in the 1930s. On the other hand, in 1966 Kramer contributed to a volume honoring Hocking, writing that the two had moved closer since their views were published in the 1930s.
   In 1957, Hocking produced one of his last studies on religious life, The Meaning of Immortality in Human Experience. He died in 1966.
   Further reading:
   ■ William Ernest Hocking, Human Nature and Its Remaking (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1918); , Living Religions and a World Faith (New York: Macmillan, 1940); , Re-Thinking Missions: A Layman's Inquiry after One Hundred Years (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1932)
   ■ Leroy S. Rouner ed., Philosophy, Religion and the Coming World Civilization: Essays in Honor of William Ernest Hocking (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966)
   ■ ----, Within Human Experience: The Philosophy of William Ernest Hocking (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1969).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • William Ernest Hocking — (* 10. August 1873 in Cleveland (Ohio); † 12. Juni 1966 in Madison (New Hampshire)) war ein US amerikanischer Theologe und Philosoph. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 Weblinks …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William Ernest Hocking — (1 de agosto de 1873 Cleveland (Ohio) 12 de junio de 1966, Madison, Nuevo Hampshire) fue un filósofo idealista estadounidense de la Universidad de Harvard. Continuó el trabajo de su profesor Josiah Royce relativo a la revisión del idealismo con… …   Wikipedia Español

  • William Ernest Hocking — (1873 1966) was an American Idealist philosopher at Harvard University. He continued the work of his philosophical teacher Josiah Royce in revising idealism to integrate and fit in empiricism, naturalism and pragmatism. Metaphysics has to make… …   Wikipedia

  • Hocking — may refer to: * Hocking County, Ohio * Hocking Hills in Ohio * Hocking College in Ohio * Hocking River in Ohio * William Ernest Hocking, American Idealist philosopher * Hocking, Western Australia, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located… …   Wikipedia

  • Hocking — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Gary Hocking (1937–1962), Motorrad und Automobilrennfahrer Murray Hocking (* 1971), australischer Badmintonspieler William Ernest Hocking (1873–1966), US amerikanischer Theologe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • hocking — present part of hock * * * /hok ing/, n. William Ernest, 1873 1966, U.S. philosopher. * * * hocking see hock v.1 and v.2 …   Useful english dictionary

  • Hocking — biographical name William Ernest 1873 1966 American philosopher …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Hocking — /hok ing/, n. William Ernest, 1873 1966, U.S. philosopher. * * * …   Universalium

  • William McKinley — This article is about the 25th President of the United States. For other people with the same name, see William McKinley (disambiguation). William McKinley 25th President of the United States In office …   Wikipedia

  • John William Miller — (1895–1978) was an American philosopher in the idealist tradition. His work appears in six published volumes, including The Paradox Cause (1978) and most recently The Task of Criticism (2006). His principal philosophical ambitions were 1) to… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.