A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Parker, Theodore

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Parker, Theodore (1810-1860). -- Theologian, b. at Lexington, Massachusetts, ed. at Harvard, was an indefatigable student, and made himself master of many languages. In 1837 he was settled at West Roxbury as a Unitarian minister, but the development of his views in a rationalistic direction gradually separated him from the more conservative portion of his co-religionists. He lectured on theological subjects in Boston in 1841, travelled in Europe, and in 1845 settled in Boston, where he lectured to large audiences, and exercised a wide influence. He took a leading part in the anti-slavery crusade, and specially in resisting the Fugitive Slave Act. In 1859 his health, which had never been robust, gave way; he went to Italy in search of restoration, but d. at Florence. Although he was a powerful theological and social influence, his writings are not of corresponding importance: it was rather as a speaker that he influenced his countrymen, and he left no contribution to literature of much permanent account, though his coll. works fill 14 vols. Among the most outstanding of his writings are A Discourse of Matters Pertaining to Religion, and Sermons for the Timespage 296.