A History of Personalism

31 Pages Posted: 26 May 2011

See all articles by Kevin Schmiesing

Kevin Schmiesing

Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty

Date Written: December 1, 2000


Philosophers have used the term personalism since at least the late nineteenth century. The personalist approach to philosophy has assumed various forms among different individuals in different national contexts. At the same time, personal and philosophical connections can be drawn among these diverse scholars and schools. This article is an attempt to make of personalism a coherent historical story.

The essay begins by examining the personalism of the Boston School whose seminal figure was Borden Parker Bowne. It then moves through the European manifestations of personalism in Germany, France, and Poland. It ends by outlining personalism’s recent development in both the United States and Europe. This history of personalism shows that personalist insights can support a broad array of political and philosophical positions.

Keywords: personalism

Suggested Citation

Schmiesing, Kevin, A History of Personalism (December 1, 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1851661 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1851661

Kevin Schmiesing (Contact Author)

Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty ( email )

Grand Rapids, MI 49503
United States

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