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Buchman, Frank Nathan Daniel

Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman (bŏŏk´mən), 1878–1961, American evangelist, b. Pennsburg, Pa. The international movement he founded has been variously called First Century Christian Fellowship, the Oxford Group, Moral Re-Armament (often known as MRA), and Buchmanism. Buchman was ordained in the Lutheran ministry in 1902. He was head (1905–15) of religious work at Pennsylvania State College (now Pennsylvania State Univ.). In 1921, Buchman, after five years of extension lecturing for the Hartford Theological Foundation, visited England. There he preached "world-changing through life-changing" among the students at Oxford, hence the name Oxford Group. In 1938 he instituted a campaign known as Moral Re-Armament. The work of evangelism for personal and national spiritual reconstruction is conducted informally and intimately in groups gathered in educational institutions, in church congregations, or in homes. "House parties" take the place of conferences, and religious experiences are shared in personal confessions. The evangelists stress absolute honesty, purity, love, and unselfishness. Moral Re-Armament has always been a controversial organization, resulting from its strident anti-Communist positions as well as from Buchman's open admiration of Adolf Hitler.

See his speeches, Remaking the World (new and rev. ed. 1961); P. Howard, Frank Buchman's Secret (1962); G. Ekman, Experiment with God: Frank Buchman Reconsidered (tr. 1972).

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Buchman, Frank

Buchman, Frank (1878–1961). Founder of Moral Re-Armament. A Lutheran pastor in Pennsylvania, Buchman embarked for Europe in 1908 after a disagreement. There he began a campaign along evangelical lines. In Oxford in 1921 he founded the ‘First-Century Christian Fellowship’ or Oxford Group Movement, the chief activity of which was house parties including group confessions, prayers and listening for God's guidance, having as their aim the ‘changing’ of lives. The Oxford Group became Moral Re-Armament in 1938.

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