Max L. Stackhouse
Professor of Reformed Theology and Public Life Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary
Presented at House of the Redeemer, St.Peter’s Lutheran Church. New York, NY, November 2, 1996
Graceful Prophecy: James Luther Adams’s Theology of Art and Ethics
He was, above all, a social ethicist. He drew deeply from the Christian tradition, and believed it was the surest basis for reason and for morality, but he did so with a profoundly liberal sensibility, and with much dependence on insights derived from encounters with the arts and the social sciences. From the perspectives gained, he saw everything in terms of its impact on the common life, and the ethical patterns of living. It gave all his work a macroscopic turn. He wrote and spoke from this perspective on politics and economics, voluntary associations and church life, the scandalously petty moral vision of pietism, of fundamentalisms, of individualistic liberalism, and of mindless patriotism–unwittingly collectivist in its protest against communism. That is not all he saw, as we shall accent today; but it is the larger part of what he spoke, taught, and wrote about. Thus, he interpreted biblical materials, theological doctrines, economic theories, political developments, and literary theories in terms of their capacity to illuminate how people actually experienced the tragedies and promises of historical existence. And, beyond that, whether these interpretations would or could reveal the possibilities for the transformation of life, or whether or not they betrayed life by protecting the forces of oppression or celebrating the exploitations of wrong. He was sometimes called the “smiling prophet,” for he did this with such genial humor and with such beguiling stories, that it was only later that many recognized that the harpoon of judgment had been launched, and the leviathans of wickedness had been wounded.
Yet, he was not only negative or deconstructive or critical or a sage of doom, as on prophets are sometimes portrayed. He was also a seeker for the hope beyond judgment, more profoundly a builder, an optimist, constitutionally cheerful, ever finding in the rubble of the past and present resources necessary for the reconstruction of the future. Yet he had little patience with those sunny dispositions that saw only good and never the pain or unfairness of life. As he said in one of his first sermons, they merely “smother the cross with lilies.” I think that is why I responded to him so much. If he was part Moses confronting the pharaohs of life, he was also the Moses coming down from the mountain, trying to mediate the covenants of promise to the people. And if he was was sometimes the Moses of judgment when the laws of life were rejected, he was also the Moses who pointed the next generation toward the promised land he could not himself enter. If he was part Amos, judging the nations, he was equally Hosea, grasped by a forgiving love. If he was part Jeremiah, haunted by a sense of the decline of faithfulness and justice, he was as much Isaiah, alert to the branch of new growth that could grow from the dead stump, and perhaps more like Ezra and Nehemiah, seeking to find a way to rebuild a human habitat from the rubble of history’s destruction. Not only did he personally contribute time, money and effort to organizations, such as this one, to increase the amplitude of meaning, he drew on the legacy of culture to construct both the resistance to wrong and the discovery of even the relative righteousness that flesh is heir to. In this, he knew that it required a grace, a giftedness from God, and thus a receptivity and gratitude on the part of humanity, that many social activists and no few artists who love to celebrate their own creativity, do not fully acknowledge.
I am convinced that we cannot understand Adams’ passion for and engagement with the arts without understanding the grace-full and prophetic theological spectacles through which he viewed them. Here is a thinker who loved the arts as much for what they could reveal about the human condition as for their intrinsic merits. We can perhaps best state these themes by making certain observations about the Trinity: He focused more on the Holy Spirit and its promise as Comforter, than on Christology with its claim of accomplished redemption. He was sustained by the creativity of the Spirit present in the midst of life as it pointed to the possibilities beyond the pathos of the now, more than by the transcendent Creator God who began the world as it is. That is not to say that he was devoid of a profound theory of the first or second persons of the Trinity. He had, in fact, a exceptionally high view of Christ for a Unitarian, and was contemptuous to those who had only a immanental view of the divine, as if human life were not under a standard beyond our own construction.
In this connection, he also has a high view of the created order: he spoke often of the fact that, as a liberal Protestant, he believed deeply in something that allied him with Catholic moral theology and humanist thought: the doctrine of creation properly understood led to the notion of natural law, that God had created a moral universe and all people as creatures of God had some capacity to recognize that moral order. Further, he spoke sometimes of what he took to be the main point of the doctrine of creation. Namely, the fact that God created the world means that we do not, that all our efforts at creativity are derivative, dependent on what has already been given to us. Thus, all the glories of human achievement are the result of a pre-given grace, given to believers and non-believers alike. But it is a grace that is fulfilled when it points to a creative, prophetic future that also judges the terrors and evils of our day.
On these points of doctrine, by the way, I recall that soon after I graduated as his student, I sent him a paper I wrote on the Trinity. He did not respond for months, but when I saw him at a Civil Liberties Banquet, I asked him if he had read the paper I had sent. It was an awkward question on my part during a lull in the conversation — after all, at our table were Jewish lawyers, renegade Catholic nuns, and a couple of libertarian humanists, none much interested in the Trinity at that moment. After his fashion, he began to tell about Clair Booth Luce, the convert to Catholicism who was appointed by Truman to be the first ambassador to the Vatican. According to various reports, when Ms. Luce presented her diplomatic credentials on her first audience with the Pope, she began to regale His Holiness, with the zeal of a convert, with her views about the wonders of Catholicism. After a few minutes, the Pope reputedly held up his hand to silence her, and said quietly: “Madame, I already am one.”
It is in the context of his prophetic concern for social ethics, and his profound sense of theologically grounded common grace, as it appeared especially in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit through the arts that, I believe, we can see his interpretation of Music, Painting and Sculpture. Music, to be sure, more than the other arts, had played a key role in his life from an early age. He sang hymns and chorals for as long as he could remember. Indeed, as a young boy, born in 1901 to a pre millenarian country preacher in Ritzville, Washington, who converted to the Plymouth Brethren, a fundamentalist Baptist sect, he learned to play the violin, going from village to village on horseback so that he could attract a crowd as a boy-fiddler. His father would then preach and hand out tracts. Later, he took a job on the railroad, in part to have access to every whistle-stop, to evangelize using similar methods.
Even after he went to college and became a leading campus atheist, he continued his interest in the arts, gaining sophistication in their interpretation as an English Literature major. One professor recognized his passion, however: his militant atheism was a continued wrestling with religion. And, in fact, Adams ended up at Harvard Divinity School in the heyday of Unitarianism and became a Unitarian minister, even while maintaining his interest in literature by teaching it at Boston University part time.
Music, however, remained a part of his life. In an early recounting of the decisive events of his life, Adams wrote of his growing love for Bach during this period:
Nathan Söderblom (once) remarked that Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion music should be called the Fifth Evangelist. So was Bach for me. One night as I sang, with the Harvard Glee Club, the Mass in B Minor under Koussevitsky at Symphony Hall, Boston, a renewed conviction came over me that there in the Bach Mass, beginning with the Kyrie and proceeding through the Crucifixus to the Agnus Dei and the Dona nobis pacem, all that was essential in the human and divine was expressed. My love of the music awakened in me a profound sense of gratitude to Bach for having displayed as through a prism and in a way that was irresistible for me, the Essence of Christianity,”
This love of music played another part in his life, for a Ms. Margaret Young was a member of the Second Church of Salem where he became pastor. She was not only a social activist with deep sympathies for the labor movement, but a pianist of some accomplishment who had studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and had sung also in the Harvard Glee Club and Radcliffe Choral Society when they teamed up to sing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. When he offered to take her on an early date to hear Bach’s Passion, she spoke with him knowingly about the music. They were married in 1927 and formed a partnership with many social, personal and artistic dimensions until her death, a dozen years before his.
They moved for a number of years to Chicago, where he completed his doctorate and began to teach Ethics; but when he returned to Harvard to teach, the two of them became involved with Gould Farm in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, a half way house for those who had suffered from mental illness and were on their way back to society. That institution became a center of deep commitment for them, but it also brought them into the orbit of both Jacob’s Pillow, one of the national centers for dance, and Tanglewood, just seventeen miles away, where the BSO spends its summers.
It was, indeed, in the 1960’s and 70’s that we find Adams writing more about the arts, especially music. In 1967, he published “Music as a Means of Grace,” the essay from which we take our title for today’s tribute to Adams. He begins the essay with quotations from Job: 38:7 — “When the morning stars sang together…” and Revelation 4:6f. — “And round the throne…, (the) four living creatures, each of them with six wings, day and night never cease to sing, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy.”” Then, he comments:
It is striking that the authors of these passages cannot conceive of the beginning or the end of the world without music…. Music in all ages and cultures has been closely associated with religion, with primitive religion and with the higher religions. But it has a special connection with high religion. No theologian in the history of Christianity has given a higher place to music than did Martin Luther. ‘I most heartily desire,’ he said ‘that music, that divine and most precious gift, be praised and extolled before all people…. A person who does not regard music as a marvelous creation of God, must be a clodhopper indeed and does not deserve to be called a human being; (such a person) should be permitted to hear nothing but the braying of asses and the grunting of hogs…. Next to the Word of God…the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world…. There is no art its equal.’
Adams goes on: music has not only been associated with religion, of course, but also with work, with play, with love both erotic and spiritual, with war with its marches and durges, and with all kinds of festivals — solemn, festal, or inebriated. Indeed, he points out that Plato knew something of its power, and noted that as people adopt a music, so the fate of their culture is charted. Yet Plato also recognized that music involves a kind of freedom, for by it, people transcend the pressing necessities of the environment that confines them. Thus, omething more than cultural conditioning is involved in it. Whatever we think of Plato, Adams writes, we surely must recognize:
What a mysterious, almost fantastic, action is the creating and appreciation of music. In its purest form, music is not a representational but rather a nonobjective, nonverbal world. It is a world of its own, almost a creatio ex nihilo, an occasion for immediacy of experience, a nonreducible mode of beauty, of contrast and resolution, of order and of ecstasy flowing through and beyond the order. Order, and ecstacy rooted in order: that sounds like the relation between law and love, law and gospel. In these qualities of music there is something more than pleasant and ordered sound, something transmusical. How is one to express this extramusical quality?….One could speak of a music of the innocence of creation, the music that reaffirms the song of the morning stars at the beginning of creation. One could speak of the music of the Fall, the music that expresses a sense, a metaphysical sense, of humanity’s alienation from the innocence of creation. One could speak of the music of redemption, the music of the third movement of Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, when alienation and tragedy are overcome, then with the sense also that there always will be alienation and tragedy and suffering. It is not hyperbole to suggest that at times the music of Bob Dylan combines these dimensions… (and they) appear in the martial music of the civil rights movement: ‘We Shall Overcome.”
The music that rouses to a new sense of promise and to a new resolve serves as a judgment upon the actualities of the present and at the same time as a contemplation, a harbinger of future fulfillment…. With a special sense of immediacy and inwardness, authentic music redefines, illumines, refreshes, orders our experience. It is not escape from reality; it is rather the rediscovery of a center of meaning and power, of a center that is a symptom and sign of faith — ultimately not a human achievement but a gift of grace. In short,… it is the ‘joyful creation’ that enables us to sing without words, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord who was and is and is to come.’
In a later essay, on “Music, the Language of Hope,” Adams quotes Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, where Lorenzo says to Jessica, his beloved, of another:
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is not fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.
Here we note the connection of music with character, and Adams asks whether it is true, as Plato had argued, that music can either improve or damage the character. He cites William James who once wrote that “if, after attending a symphony concert, you are not kinder to your grandmother on returning home, the concert has been wasted.” But Adams doubts that this moralizing can be accepted. What good, then in music? If it does not help us be kind, perhaps it has a therapeutic value. But that is, as Adams points out, also false. It is simply to “class Mozart along with pills.”
It may be that music can be made to serve ends other than itself, and a great deal of music with words does just that. But what about music without words? What end does it serve. Is it “music for its own sake” that only calls attention to itself, like most claims about “art for art’s sake?” Adams doubts this too, and suggests that great music continues to serve, but it serves what cannot be put into words.
Authentic music without words is able to say what cannot be put into words. In any time or place, this is an extremely significant enterprise, one that painting and sculpture and architecture share with music…. In a time when the old myths of religion are crumbling, when traditional formulations of religious faith are frayed or fraying, music without words can express the substance of life’s meaning, the substance of joy, of tragedy, of comedy, of play, of lament and re-affirmation…. Music is the language of hope, affirming hope against hopelessness. Music is the language of new resolve in the face of the seven evil angels having vials of seven last plagues filled with wrath.
We can see, here, echoes of what is his earliest essay on the arts, where he explicitly denies that art is or should be totally autonomous, existing only for itself, To be sure, “beauty,” he argues, must induce an “art full of service,” and if art becomes merely a tool of didactic teaching or moralistic preaching, it has lost its heart and it is thrown into bondage at the hands of something other than itself. Yet,
if art…is separated from all other concerns, it becomes trivial and meaningless, for then the creation and appreciation of art have no relation to the process of responding to and judging human experience. The price of separation is as great as that of bondage…; the price is nothing less than impotence. The theologian is familiar with an analogous dilemma…. If revelation is separated from reason, it becomes arbitrary; if it puts reason into bondage, it becomes alien to intrinsic meaning. (Similarly,) Ideological art is a form of repression, a form of social control through domination. It may appear in subservience to political or economic or ecclesiastical power, or to combinations of these powers….
Insofar as art serves to enhance the regnant powers in the society we may be justified in speaking of it theologically as the art of creation; or more precisely we may call it the art of the orders of creation. In contrast to it we should look for the art of the fall…I have in mind…the art that exposes the meaninglessness, the frustration, the anxieties of the created, existing world. In a minimal sense this art is prophetic. That is, it proclaims doom. This art is in the service of protest against the actual.
But (Adams goes on) is there an art of redemption in our time? In an important sense art as such is redemptive. It represents an ontologically grounded drive toward personal and social integration of the parts and the whole, Matisse expresses this integrating feature of art. ‘Suppose I set out to paint an interior: I have before me a cupboard; it gives me a sensation of bright red–and I put down a red that satisfies me; immediately a relation is established between this red and the white of the canvas. If I put a green near the red, if I paint in a yellow floor, there must still be between this green, this yellow and the white of the canvas a relation that will be satisfactory to me. But these several tones mutually weaken one another. It is necessary therefore, that the various elements that I use be so balanced that they do not destroy one another… This is not a work that I chose but rather a work for which I have been chosen.
As we can see, it is not only in music that we find these themes in Adams’ thought, but also in other arts. Indeed, it was a short time after his second meditation on music, that Adams becomes engaged with this organization and more extensively seeks to face the problems of systemic evil, not only in society, but in the very structure of human existence. In his new autobiographical memoir, Not Without Dust and Heat, just recently edited for publication, Adams speaks of some of his early engagements with this organization. I quote at some length:
(An)…organization that has given me great stimulus through the years is the Foundation for the Arts, Religion and Culture (ARC). In my courses I used art objects as much as possible in order to illustrate the style of a culture or to pick up a theme — for example, the Pieta in the Florence cathedral as a possible interpretation of Whitehead’s concept of feeling. All this was related to studies of Ernst Troeltsch, who had discussed the task of identifying the style of a culture, and had stressed the exploration of the processes in which historical change takes place, In the development of the ARC the historical elements were, of course always implied and sometimes explored. This is to be seen again and again, for example in the fruitful sessions we had with Michael Graves, the architect at Princeton…, especially in his attack on the Bauhaus and the so-called international style.
The Society dates back to the late fifties when Amos Wilder (biblical scholar), Rollo May (psychologist and historian), and Paul Tillich (theologian) generated interest in forming such a society. The Society was formed as a ‘multi disciplinary professional society which provides the occasion and resources for bringing together persons from diverse professional backgrounds to consider basic issues of human conflict and community. ARC is committed to the radical clarification of those life-affirming values which are contributed to contemporary culture by the arts, philosophy, religion, technology and the social sciences; and the strengthening of vital interdisciplinary relationships. When the committee met in the Adirondacks in June, 1969, with the requirement that each member bring a proposal, I suggested that we spend the next two years exploring what had not been done previously — the…significance of the concept of the grotesque…. For a long time, I had been intrigued by the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch….
Adams goes on to recount his explorations of the idea with Jane Kingman of this society and Alfred Barr of the Museum of Modern Art, who in turn put them in contact with Robert Doty of the Whitney Museum, which had been quietly planning an exhibit along these lines. Doty, in fact became a speaker at the 1970 meeting on “The Grotesque in Art,” and stressed in his remarks that the Grotesque represents the fact that “the artist desperately seeks to engage the mind and spirit of the spectator to bring him to a state of awareness that will permit no evasion. He feels alienated, but does not relinquish hope.” Robert Penn Warren and W. H. Auden were also at the meeting, but their remarks were never published, although Auden evidently argued that this applied to popular culture as well as to the high arts, and wanted to get the views of such artists of the grotesque as Charlie Chaplin. They were unable to do so, although the ARC discussion of the Grotesque went on for several meetings. Adams, however, summarizes his own views, now edited for publication by Wilson Yates. Adams wrote:
The Grotesque in art emphasizes the dreadful difference between the actual and what the actual claims to be…. The essence of the grotesque is that it unveils disjunction — the incoherent and the chaotic. The horrible grotesque presents the chaos that unhinges and destroys all order…. (The very best of things) are given a theological, and we might say also, an eschatological interpretation.
The Grotesque bespeaks alienation in the face of the absurd, the irrational, the monstrous; it is an expression of anxiety as well as of disgust. In short, it is a vehement form of protest and dissent….
Bosch could depict the full range of the Grotesque precisely because he believed implicitly in God’s power to overcome any evil, any horror, any monstrous condition; and likewise he believed in God’s power to deliver all men into an ideal utopia. In this framework, the more imaginatively Bosch was able to represent the grotesque and the demonic, the greater enhanced was the glory of God; and very likely herein lies the reason contemporary expression of the Grotesque is ‘flat’ — without ‘faith’; artists are afraid to challenge directly the chaotic abyss.
One artist of Adam’s generation both fascinated him and sometimes seem to exemplify the problem. I refer to Adams’ comments on the Swiss sculptor Giacometti. For Adams, he nearly joined the rank of great artists by his capacity to grasp and depict “in imaginative fashion the various dimensions of the human condition. In doing so, the artist may point to something universal in the human situation, express something characteristic of the period in the history of culture, or give utterance to some peculiar perspective of vision of life…. Adams thought Alberto Giacometti almost did this when he “portrays the human figure as a lonely entity, extremely slender and elongated, rough and attenuated. A small head is connected to small feet by means of a very thin line of body. At the Tate Gallery in London, Adams found that this was not merely an expression of his style, but quite intentionally “to emphasize the space around the figure, which seems to press in upon it.” Yet, he sees these works as too one-sided and quotes Jean-Paul Sartre’s view of Giacometti to show his negation without faith:
What is this encircling distance…but that negative notion, the void? Giacometti sees the void everywhere. Not everywhere you will protest. There are objects in contact. But that’s just it. Giacometti is sure of nothing, not even of that; for whole weeks together he has been entranced by the legs of a chair, they did not touch the floor. Between things, between men, the bridges are down; the void creeps in everywhere, every creature secretes its own void.
Among the interesting comments on this artist, we note a shift from time to space. While music organizes time, painting and particularly sculpture as a three dimensional art, organizes space. Most twentieth century art is quite abstract precisely in the way in which it has explored spatial relationship with little attention to any specific subject, or, for that matter, anything particularly objective, beyond the subjectivity of the artist himself (sometimes in relation to the meanings that certain colors have to the artist). But, in Adams’ view, Giacometti interprets human existence as a conflict of spaces, a conflict between psychological and social space by the very way he treats human figures and their relationships one to another. Thus, he writes:
I would like to suggest that implicit in Giacometti’s sculptures are the elements of a theology of psychological and social space. Moreover, if we go beyond his conception of the conflicts between these kinds of spaces, we may encounter cosmic space, and even the transcendent that lies beyond and within all spaces — beyond and yet impinging upon them.
(This)… leads us beyond the perspective of Giacometti insofar as a theology of space is concerned. The first or the last word of a theology of space is not the word conflict. In any theology we look for a unifying, integrating perspective that not only informs the spaces in themselves but also appears in the voids before they existed and after they cease to exist…. Here a transcendent reference is given to both space and time.
From that point, Adams turns to the analysis of the biblical story as one that integrates time and space. The children of Israel not only come out of Israel at a specific time, but are promised a new land. And Christians not only hold that the time was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, but sought to find a space in the structures of a complex civilization. As these new possibilities were realized, not only was the geography of social organization altered, but the whole tempo of life changed, and people came to expect the possibility of change. And in each case, this possibility was actualized by the finding of shared space, the formation of groups that enlarged the possibilities for individuals and bound them into new communities of commitment that kept them from falling into isolation, that kept the oppressive powers at a distance, and that allowed the power of grace to find expression in the midst of life. It points, in other words to a theonomy, revealed by the great artist, sometimes in spite of his own efforts.
To mention the word “theonomy,” of course, is to echo Paul Tillich, whom Adams helped translate and introduce to this culture. Adams wrote his dissertation on Tillich’s theology of culture, and was engaged in a life-long dialogue with him about the relationships of time and space, eternity and infinity. About a decade after Tillich died, other friends, Wilhelm and Marion Pauck, brought out a study of Tillich. Adams began his review of it by reference to the famous triptych painted for the altar in Isenheim, by Matthias Grünewald about 1515, just before Luther’s famous break with Rome. It is one of the treasured paintings by twentieth-century continental theologians, flanked as it is by a series of other paintings that deal with the sufferings of the people, known also in our century.
The centerpiece shows a disproportionately large Jesus on the cross, with the two Marys and John the beloved son nearby, much smaller. And next to this John is John the Baptist, pointing to the horrible wounds of Christ with an elongated finger. Tillich had viewed this painting as the “most religious” of the work of that period. The painter, according to Tillich, saw what Luther had seen, and like him was close to the peasants, at least in his early years. And, it is true: he was dismissed as court painter for that reason. The painting was completed just before the peasant revolt, later condemned by Luther, and was suspected of being propaganda for the revolutionary Thomas Münzer.
This painting, Adams points out, was also significant to Karl Barth, the theologian with whom Tillich is most frequently contrasted. Barth sees in the long forefinger of John the Baptist the symbol of the task of the theologian, which is to point not to themselves, or to their own thought, or to anything having to do with social or cultural analysis, but to the Source of redemption. Although Tillich does not overtly reject Barth’s interpretation, Adams notes that Tillich saw in this painting a kind of depth sociology that illumined the existential crisis of the time, much as Picasso’s Guernica did for him in the period of the rise of Fascism. In brief, Tillich saw this as an example of a theology of culture, one that also has a dimension of hope, evident in the chalice. It has, Adams goes on to say, a sense of kairos, of the ripeness of time. Only some see through and beyond the pain without obscuring it.
I do not pursue the debates implied by these remarks except to point out that Adams’ theology of culture takes up precisely that dimension of Tillich’s more familiar thought about the arts that leads again to the notion of time. It is time, not space, the times, not the geography of line and form, that finally defines Adams’ approach. He wants beauty, he wants a just social order, but he sees these as but promises, by art, in the midst of time that point to a time yet to come. The spaces we carve out are essentially social spaces — associations and groups that take on form and definition in order to address the times. While Tillich loves music, he more clearly loved painting and sculpture. Adams was the other way around.
By the way, you may all know the story, often told by Adams, that when Barth and Tillich once met, they somehow came to the topic of music. Barth’s preference for Mozart is well known, and he asked Tillich who his favorite composer was. “Beethoven,” replied Tillich, without hesitation. “Ah, yes, Paulus,” Barth is reputed to have muttered. “That is just like you. Beethoven too did not know that oceans have shores.” We may, today, not be fully satisfied with Tillich, or Barth. We may want to include the insights of such subsequent theological thinkers as Wolterstorff or Begbie or Pelikan; but Adams is among those who went before and made it possible for us to be in this gathering, and to reach for new depths of graceful prophecy.
It is in this spirit that he ends his essay on “Music as a Means of Grace,” as I send these comments, on it, by pointing out that music was, for him, “a contemplation, a harbinger, of future fulfillment. It can …make one ‘calm of mind, all passion spent’ if it is the music that says ‘Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom Come.’
James Luther Adams, On Being Human Religiously. Ed. M. L. Stackhouse.
James Luther Adams, An Examined Faith. Ed. G. K. Beach
James Luther Adams, The Prophethood of All Believers. Ed. G. K. Beach
James Luther Adams, “The James Luther Adams Papers,” The Unitarian Universalist
Christian (1993). Ed. H. F. Vetter
James Luther Adams, Not Without Dust and Heat: A Memoir. Ed.
James Luther Adams, Taking Time Seriously. Ed. J. R. Wilcox
D.B. Robertson, ed., Voluntary Associations: Essays in Honor of James Luther Adams, espec. Ch. XVII