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Date of this Version
PREACHED AT THE ORDINATION OF MR. CHARLES C. SHACKFORD, IN THE HAWES PLACE CHURCH IN BOSTON, MAY 19, 1841.
Parker's controversial sermon is an essential document in the history of American Unitarianism and Transcendentalism. In it, he applies the lessons gleaned from the "higher criticism" of the Bible to the history of organized Christianity in a reinterpretation of the persona of the historical Jesus of Nazareth. As might be expected, Parker valorizes the Spirit over the variety of religious forms promulgated at different times by different Christian sects, and "presentizes" the Gospel message in a way that many conventional Christians found horrifying.