Brightman, Edgar S(heffield) 1884-1953

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BRIGHTMAN, Edgar S(heffield) 1884-1953


Born September 20, 1884, in Holbrook, MA; died February 25, 1953, in Newton Center, MA; son of George Edgar (a Methodist minister) and Mary Charlotte (Sheffield) Brightman; married Charlotte Hülsen, July 1, 1912 (died, May, 1915); married Irma B. Fall, June 8, 1918; children: (first marriage) one son; (second marriage) Miriam, Robert S. Education: Brown University, A.B., 1906, A.M., 1908; Boston University, S.T.B., 1910, Ph.D., 1912; attended University of Berlin and University of Marburg, 1910-11. Religion: Methodist Episcopal.


Nebraska Wesleyan College, professor of philosophy and religion, 1912-15; Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, became professor of ethics and religion, 1915-1919; Boston University, Boston, MA, professor, 1919-25, Borden Parker Bowne Professor of Philosophy, 1925-53, board chair of graduate school for nearly twenty years. Vanderbilt University, Cole Lecturer, 1942; Southern Methodist University, Fondren Lecturer, 1945. Sixth International Congress of Philosophy, secretary, 1927.


American Theological Society, American Philosophical Association (president of Eastern Division, 1936), National Association of Biblical Instructors (president, 1941-43).


Fellowships for Germany, 1910.


The Sources of the Hexateuch, 1918. Religious Values, Abingdon Press (New York, NY), 1925.

Immortality in Post-Kantian Idealism, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1925.

An Introduction to Philosophy, H. Holt and Co. (New York, NY), 1925, revised edition, 1951.

(Editor) Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress of Philosophy, Longmans, Green (New York, NY), 1927.

A Philosophy of Ideals, H. Holt and Co. (New York, NY), 1928.

The Problem of God, Abingdon Press (New York, NY), 1930.

The Finding of God, Abingdon Press (New York, NY), 1931.

Is God a Person?, Association Press (New York, NY), 1932.

Moral Laws, Abingdon Press (New York, NY), 1933.

Personality and Religion, Abingdon Press (New York, NY), 1934.

The Future of Christianity, Abingdon Press (New York, NY), 1937.

A Philosophy of Religion, Prentice-Hall (New York, NY), 1940.

The Spiritual Life, Abingdon-Cokesbury Press (New York, NY), 1942.

(Editor and contributor) Personalism in Theology: A Symposium in Honor of Albert Cornelius Knudson, Boston University Press (Boston, MA), 1943.

Nature and Values, Abingdon-Cokesbury Press (New York, NY), 1945.

Person and Reality: An Introduction to Metaphysics, edited by Peter A. Bertocci, Jannette Newhall, and Robert S. Brightman, Ronald Press (New York, NY), 1958.

Author of shorter works, including "Persons and Values" (lecture), Boston University Press (Boston, MA), 1952. Contributor to books, including Contemporary American Theology, edited by V. Ferm, 1932; A History of Philosophical Systems, edited by V. Ferm, Philosophical Library (New York, NY), 1950; and Radihakrishnan, edited by W. R. Inge, Allen & Unwin (London, England), 1952. Contributor of more than 500 articles and reviews to periodicals, including Journal of Bible and Religion, Crozer Quarterly, Methodist Review, Personalist, American Scholar, Journal of Philosophy, Journal of Religion, and Luminar.

Some of Brightman's work have been translated into Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese.



Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd edition, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1998.


Bostonia, July, 1953, Peter A. Bertocci, "Edgar Sheffield Brightman (1884-1953)."

Personalist, autumn, 1953, Ralph Tyler Flewelling, "Brightman: Ex Umbras in Lucem," pp. 341-346.

Religion in Life, autumn, 1953, Cornelius Krusé, "Edgar S. Britman's Contribution to American Philosophy."*

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Brightman, Edgar S(heffield) 1884-1953

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