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Campbell, Alexander (1788–1866)

  1. Todd M. Brenneman

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0222

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Brenneman, T. M. 2011. Campbell, Alexander (1788–1866). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Minister, author and religious leader. Alexander Campbell was born in Ireland in 1788 to Thomas and Jane Campbell. In 1808 Thomas immigrated to the United States for health reasons, intending to have his family follow him soon after. Due to several difficulties, including a shipwreck, the rest of the Campbell family was unable to do so. In the interim, Alexander pursued scholarly studies in Glasgow, Scotland. Here he became acquainted with the teachings of the Haldanes and Robert Sandeman, leading Alexander to question his Seceder Presbyterian approach to biblical interpretation. Drawing on Scottish Commonsense realism, Lockean empiricism, and Baconian naturalism, Alexander claimed that he would approach the Bible as if he never read it before. Based on this experiment, he began to question his allegiance to the Presbyterian Church.


  • Campbell;
  • Alexander (1788–1866);
  • minister;
  • author and religious leader;
  • Thomas work “declaration and address”;
  • hallmark for campbells' anticreedal;
  • anticlerical stand on doctrines;
  • “disciples” or “christians,” separation between baptists;
  • campbell group;
  • campbell's claims of 19th century Christianity;
  • needing “restoration”;
  • millennial harbinger;
  • campbell's group as “disciples of christ”