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Second Reader's Report, by S. Paul Schilling

Schilling, S. Paul (Sylvester Paul) (Boston University)
February 26, 1955
Boston, Mass.
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Education


Schilling concludes that King’s first draft is “competently done—carefully organized and systematically developed,” showing “sound comprehension and critical capacity.”1 Schilling’s criticisms emphasize “stylistic improvement,” as well as the addition of “a discussion of Wieman’s use of specifically Christian symbols in his conception of God.” He approves the draft with the assumption that “the changes indicated will be made.”

This piece of research has been competently done. It is carefully organized and systematically developed. The expository chapters are accurate, objective, and clear, presenting a true portrayal of the views of Tillich and Wieman. The writer seems to have made judicious use of all the available sources, which are considerable in extent. The comparisons and evaluations are fair-minded, balanced, and cogent. The author shows sound comprehension and critical capacity.

Stylistic improvement is needed at various points. Since the entire dissertation, except Chapter VI, has already been read chapter by chapter, the reader lists here only those items not previously listed or so far uncorrected (mostly because of lack of time). Particularly in Chapter IV the construction at various points is awkward, rough, or ungrammatical. Presumably these lacks will be corrected in the second draft.

Among various suggestions regarding content made previously to Mr. King, one may be mentioned here: the desirability of including in Chapter IV a discussion of Wieman’s use of specifically Christian symbols in his conception of God. This aspect of his thought should be brought out clearly.

The reader is appending a list of needed corrections, to be added to those previously pointed out. The present list concerns mainly Chapter I, II, and VI.2

As a first draft, and assuming that the changes indicated will be made, the manuscript is approved.

1. Sylvester Paul Schilling (1904–) received his B.S. in 1923 from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, and his M.A., S.T.B., and Ph.D. from Boston University in 1927, 1929, and 1934, respectively. His dissertation, entitled “The Empirical and the Rational in Hegel’s Philosophy of Religion,” was directed by Edgar S. Brightman. He served as pastor of several Methodist churches in the Washington, D.C., area from 1932 until 1945, when he joined the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary in Baltimore. In 1953 he returned to Boston University as a professor of systematic theology, where he remained until his retirement in 1969. His publications include Contemporary Continental Theologians (1966), God in an Age of Atheism (1969), God Incognito (1973), God and Human Anguish (1977), and The Faith We Sing (1983). For his intellectual autobiography, see Schilling, “Developments in My Thought,” in The Boston Personalist Tradition in Philosophy, Social Ethics, and Theology, ed. Paul Deats and Carol Robb (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1986), pp. 187–207.

2. This list has not been located.


SPS, INP, S. Paul Schilling Collection, In Private Hands.