Standard Article

Fosdick, Harry Emerson (1878–1969)

  1. J. Kristian Pratt

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0552

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Pratt, J. K. 2011. Fosdick, Harry Emerson (1878–1969). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


The American pastor Harry Emerson Fosdick was a leader of the Modernist movement, professor of Practical Theology, and renowned preacher and author. Born in Buffalo, New York, Fosdick converted to Christianity at the age of 7 and dedicated himself to a life of Christian service. During his undergraduate studies at Colgate University, the teaching of theology professor William Newton Clarke greatly influenced his acceptance of modern methods of biblical criticism. Following his graduation in 1900, Fosdick enrolled at Union Theological Seminary. During a bout of depression, he attempted suicide and entered a sanitarium, briefly interrupting his studies.


  • Fosdick, Harry Emerson (1878–1969);
  • leader of the modernist movement;
  • union theological seminary;
  • professor, of practical theology;
  • fundamentalist–modernist controversy of 1920s;
  • pastor of park avenue baptist church, new york;
  • what shall we do with Jesus?;
  • science and religion