Charles Francis Potter


Dr Charles Francis Potter (1885-1962) was an American Unitarian minister, theologian and author. In 1923 and 1924, he became nationally known through a series of debates with Dr. John Roach Straton, a fundamentalist Christian. The subjects, which Dr. Potter called "part of a crisis in theology," were the infallibility of the Bible, evolution, the Virgin Birth, the divinity of Christ and the Second Coming In 1925 he was adviser on the Bible to Clarence Darrow in his defense of John Thomas Scopes, a schoolteacher who was charged with teaching evolution in his classes. He was born in Marlboro, Mass., where his father was a shoe-factory worker, and received his education at Bucknell University, Brown University and Newton Theological Institution. Dr. Potter began his career as a Baptist minister. He resigned his position in 1925 because, he explained, even a liberal pulpit did not afford all the necessary freedom of expression. The next year he was professor of comparative religion at Antioch College. His progressive ideas led him to found, in 1929, the First Humanist Society of New York, whose advisory board included Julian Huxley, John Dewey, Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann. Together  ( Wikipedia article )


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