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Nels F. S. Ferré Papers

Call Number: RG 286

Scope and Contents

The Nels F. S. Ferré Papers, 1940-1968, document his professional work. The collection is arranged according to the following categories: diaries, date/address books, lecture notes, unpublished literary manuscripts, notes on readings, and collected articles and dissertations written about Ferré.

Refer to the faculty publication register (RG 279) for itemization of Ferré's publications.


  • 1940 - 1968


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Andover Newton Theological School Collection , 2017


Series I. Diaries and address books. Series II. Lecture Notes. Series III. Unpublished Literary Manuscripts. Series IV. Notes on Readings. Series V. Material about Ferré.


7 Linear Feet (11 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection documents the professional life of Nels F. S. Ferré, who was professor of Christian Theology at Andover Newton Theological School (then known as Andover Theological Seminary - 1939-1950, 1957-1965), at Vanderbilt University, and at the College of Wooster.

Biographical / Historical

Nels F.S. Ferré was born in Sweden in 1908, and came to the United States at the age of 13. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston University in 1931. His interest in philosophy and theology led him to pursue the B.D. degree at Andover Newton; he graduated with the class of 1934. He received the AM. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University in 1936 and 1938 respectively. His doctoral work included a year of study at the universities of Uppsala and Lund. He was ordained to the Congregational ministry in 1934.

It was as a teacher and writer that Ferre made his major contributions to American thought. Academic appointments included the following: Instructor in Philosophy (1937-1939) and Abbot Professor of Christian Theology (1939-1950, 1957-1965), Andover Theological Seminary (now Andover Newton Theological School); Professor Philosophical Theology (1950-1957), Vanderbilt University; Scholar in Residence (1965-1968), Parsons College; Ferris Professor of Philosophy (1968-1971), College of Wooster. In addition, he was visiting professor at several institutions and offered many lectureship series.

Ferré's publications include the following books: Swedish Contributions to Modern Theology (1939), The Christian Fellowship (1940), The Christian Faith, An Inquiry into its Adequacy as Man's Ultimate Religion (1942), Return to Christianity (1943), Faith and Reason (1946), Evil and the Christian Faith (1947), Pillars of Faith (1948), Christianity and Society (1950), The Christian Understanding of God (1951), Strengthening the Spiritual Life (1951), The Sun and the Umbrella (1953), Christian Faith and Higher Education (1954), Making Religion Real (1955), Christ and the Christian (1958), Know Your Faith (1959), Searchlights on Contemporary Theology (1961), God's New Age (1962), The Finality of Faith (1963), Reason in Religion (1963), A Theology for Christian Prayer (1963), The Living God of Nowhere and Nothing (1966), A Theology for Christian Education (1967), and The Universal Word (1969).

Nels Ferré died in Wooster, Ohio, in 1971.

Guide to the Nels F. S. Ferré Papers
Andover Newton Theological School Library staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

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