A Biography of George Arthur Buttrick (Archival Research at Harvard University)

“…? And how did his biblical theology and Christology inform and shape his public engagement with ecclesiastical and socio-political issues of the day? ”

Team Members/Contributors

Charles Davidson Presbyterian Church (USA) Contact Me

About this pastoral study project

The legacy of George Arthur Buttrick (1892-1980) will be of significance to present and future generations of Christians engaged in ministry. Dr. Buttrick served twenty-eight years as senior pastor of New York City’s Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, six as Preacher to the University and Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard University, and taught pastoral theology and homiletics to students at Union Theological Seminary (NY). As President of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ, he stood at the center of the national debate over U.S. entrance into World War II.

The author of thirteen books and the general editor of the Interpreter’s Bible and Dictionary, he criss-crossed America and traveled the world as a preacher and lecturer in constant demand. Known affectionately as “a preacher’s preacher,” he exhibited profound, resolute, and faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, with deep and abiding personal commitment to the poor, alienated, and marginalized of society.

In 1974, I conducted personal interviews with Dr. Buttrick and corresponded with him until shortly before his death. He was the subject of my Th.M. thesis and of a 1975 article in the Journal of Presbyterian History. His story will offer hope, inspiration, encouragement, wisdom, and insight to those bearing continuing witness to the gospel. It has been my long-awaited privilege to undertake the writing of his biography, beginning with research and digital photography of his papers in Harvard’s Pusey Library archives, which the pastoral study grant will make possible.