Robert Lewis Dabney (March 5, 1820 - January 3, 1898) was a life-long Calvinist theologian whose time was divided between teaching and pastoral work. His post-secondary education was carried out at Hampden-Sydney College, the University of Virginia, and Union Theological Seminary. After his graduation from seminary, Dabney served briefly as a missionary in Lousia Co., VA, at the age of twenty-six. The following year he took a job as a pastor and as the head of a classical school. During his life, Dabney had the opportunity to teach quite a variety of subjects at the college level, including ecclesiastical history and polity, systematic theology, and mental and moral philosophy. As a pastor he served at the Hampdon-Sydney College Church, where he also offered his services to the college whenever there was a vacancy of staff to be filled. On an exciting note, Dabney acted as chaplain in the 18th Regiment of the Confederate Army for one summer during the Civil War; his wartime experience continued the next year, when he was appointed chief of staff to Stonewall Jackson himself.
Within his demanding occupation of pastoring and teaching, Dabney found time to write, his works ranging from memoir to examinations of philosophy to collections of his own lectures. Near the end of his life, Dabney helped to found the Austin School of Theology (now Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary) in Texas, devoting much to the maintenance of the same. Despite his retirement at the age of seventy-four, made necessary by his diminished health, Robert Dabney continued his writing, and was occasionally invited to lecture for the next four years until his death. Robert Dabney's works include:
Memoir of Rev. Dr. Francis S. Sampson (1855)
Life of General Thomas J. Jackson (1866)
A Defence of Virginia (1867)
Lectures on Sacred Rhetoric (1870)
Syllabus and Notes of the Course of Systematic and Polemic Theology (1871, second edition 1878)
Sensualistic Philosophy of the Nineteenth Century Examined (1875, second edition 1887)
Practical Philosophy (1897)
Penal Caracter of the Atonement of Christ Discussed in the Light of Recent Popular Heresies (1898, posthumous)
Discussions (a number of Dabney's shorter essays edited by C. R. Vaughn and released in four volumes from 1890-1897)
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