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Brightman, Edgar Sheffield

b. 1884 - d. 1953

Edgar Sheffield Brightman, a Methodist minister and theologian, was a professor of philosophy at Boston University from 1925 until his death in 1953. He was one of the main proponents of personalist philosophy developed by Borden Parker Bowne. As a student at Crozer Theological Seminary, Dr. King was deeply influenced by Dr. Brightman’s view that personality, both human and divine, is where one finds the meaning of ultimate reality. At Boston University School of Theology Dr. King studied under Brightman and was mentored by him. Brightman taught that God was not all-powerful but intends good for the world. Personalism is seen in the thought of Dr. King: “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice” and “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”

Associated Archive Content : 16 results

Brightman's Idea of God

Dr. King references philosopher and theologian Edgar Brightman's idea of God. According to Brightman, God is finite and "powerful enough to lead the work toward higher and higher levels."

Certainty (Religious)

Dr. King refers to Brightman's "Philosophy of Religion" in regard to religious certainty.

Dr. King Sermon Outline - "Moral Absolutism"

Dr. King drafted this handwritten outline entitled "Moral Absolutism." The focus is on judgement and its relation to both good and evil.


Dr. King quotes Edgar S. Brightman's "Philosophy of Religion" on the topic of evil.

Faith In The Heart

Dr. King uses the steadfast faith of biblical figures Abraham and Paul to express his desire to part from the traditionalism of religion and make it applicable to all aspects of a person's life. King also iterates this position by using excerpts from various philosophers such as Edgar Brightman and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Moral Law

Dr. King quotes Edgar S. Brightman on the principle of moral law.

Paul Tillich

Dr. King references the theologian, Paul Tillich, by asserting, "If philosophy of religion does not consider the revelation claim of religion, it misses its object and doesn't deal with real religion."

Philosophy of Religion

Dr. King quotes Edgar S. Brightman's definition of the philosophy of religion. Brightman argues that the rational interpretation and comparison of religion is the basis for the philosophy of religion.


Dr. King quotes Edgar S. Brightman's "The Finding of God."

Religion (Definition)

Dr. King quotes Edgar S. Brightman's "Philosophy of Religion."


Dr. King quotes from Edgar S. Brightman's "Philosophy of Religion."

Science and Religion

Dr. King documents a quote regarding science and religion from "The Finding of God."


Dr. King quotes Edgar S. Brightman’s “Introduction to Philosophy.”


Dr. King quotes Edgar S. Brightman's "Introduction to Philosophy." Brightman was a Christian theologan in the Methodist tradition.


Dr. King describes Edgar S. Brightman’s four attitudes of worship in “Philosophy of Religion.”

Worship: A Selected Bibliography

This sixteen-page document lists a bibliography of worship materials dated May of 1941.