Young, Edward James
- Existence: 1829 -- 1906 - 1906
Edward Jame Young (1829-1906) received an honorary degree of doctor of divinity from Tufts University in 1887 and gave the Russel Lecture on September 20 1885 titled 'The Sufficiency of Christianity.' He was a generous donor to the Tufts College library. Young studied theology at Harvard and in Germany in the 1850s and wrote prolifically about particularly German theological issues of the time. After serving as pastor of the Channing Religious Society in Newton from 1857-1869, he became Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Dexter Lecturer of Biblical Literature at Harvard University until he resigned in 1880. He then served as pastor of the Unitarian First Parish Church at Waltham until he retired in 1892. Professor Young was a Fellow of the American Academy and served in many professional societies. Edward James Young was married to Mary C. Blake in Newton in 1859. He died in Waltham in June 24 1906.
Edward James Young was born in Boston on April 1 1829. He was the son of Dr. Alexander Young, former minister of the New South Church, at Church Green, Summer Street, Boston, as well as publisher of historical books about the history of the pilgrim fathers and the first colony. Edward J. Young graduated from Chauncy Hall School in 1839 and from Boston Latin School in 1844. He received a B. A. from Harvard in 1848, taught two years in the Brimmer and Latin Schools in Boston. He then studied two years at Harvard Divinity School from 1850-1852 after which he studied theology for four years in Germany, principally at Göttingen and Halle. He wrote prolifically about theological issues, see here for example his survey of theological publications in Germany published in the Christian Examiner in May 1854, and Young brought German theological issues to an English reading public. Young published about the contemporary conflict in German theology between Neo-Lutherans and the Reformed Church as well as the Party of Union in three articles in the Christian Examiner of May and November 1855 as well as January 1856 "in one of which he made a vigorous plea for the enlargement of theological education at Harvard." \p>
Upon returning to the US, he was ordained as pastor of the Channing Religious Society in Newton June 18, 1857 and served there as pastor until 1869. He was then appointed Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Dexter Lecturer of Biblical Literature at Harvard University in 1869 at a time when Hebrew was still a required subject. Students, however, had lost interest in the field given concurrent debates of the origin and authority of the Bible and the 'Higher Criticism of the Old Testament' was en vogue. Because he could not adapt to these new trends, Professor Young ultimately resigned in 1880 and became pastor of the Unitarian First Parish Church at Waltham on October 30, 1892. \p>
Edward James Young was a scholar, a Fellow of the American Academy, and served as recording secretary of the Massachusetts Historical Society from 1883-1906, secretary of the Ministers' Club from 1874-1899; president of the Society for the Promotion of Theological Education from 1894-1906, and held many other positions in scholarly societies. Further publications of his include 'Memoirs' prepared for the Massachusetts Historical Society (1881, 1895, and 1896), essays, sermons, and numerous addresses. He was married to Mary C. Blake in Newton in 1859. Young gave the Tufts' Russel Lecture on September 20 1885 titled 'The Sufficiency of Christianity,' and Tufts College conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1887. Young was also a generous donor to the library at Tufts College. \p>
Edward J. Young retired in 1892. His wife died October 21, 1901 and Edward J. Young died at his home in Waltham in June 24 1906. \p>