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John Dillenberger Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: EFB
Date: 12 Jan 1970

Biographical History

John Dillenberger (1918-2008) was an American historian of science specializing in the relationship between science and religion. His book Protestant Thought and Natural Science (1960) was considered an authoritative introductory survey of the topic for several decades.

Dillenberger was one of the founders of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, serving as its first president (he also served a second term in 1999-2000) and twice as dean (1964-1969 and 1967-1972). He was also actively involved in history and theology departments at several academic institutions, serving as president of Hartford Seminary, dean of the faculty at San Francisco Theological Seminary, chair of the program in history and philosophy at Harvard University, and president of the American Academy of Religion.

Paul Johannes Tillich (1886-1965) was a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher. He is considered by many to be one of the most influential Protestant theologians of the twentieth century.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John Dillenberger Papers consist of correspondence, writings, and memorabilia.

Correspondence includes fellow authors and academics, particularly theologians and historians, from the Graduate Theological Union and other institutions. Notable individuals present in the collection include Bob Jones Jr., John W. Cook, David Daiches, Robert Lansing Edwards, Robert D. Funk, Theodore Gill, Mary Jean Irion, Margaret Ruth Miles, Robert Neville, Samuel I. Newhouse, Kenan Osborne, Paolo Ricca, Robert Scharlemann, Donald Shriver, Hannah Tillich, Jim Waits, J. Lynwood Walker, Barbara Wheeler, Wilson Yates, and others. There is also correspondence with religious, academic, and secular organizations with which Dillenberger was involved (Central Baptist Theological Seminary, First Congregational Church San Francisco, Graduate Theological Union, Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the United Church of Christ), as well as publishers of both books and periodicals (Doubleday, MacMillan, etc.).

Writings by Dillenberger includes articles, book reviews, books, forewords, speeches, sermons, and address. Formats present include drafts, published editions, clippings, and reprints. There is also a copy of Dillenberger's PhD dissertation, "The Hidden God: A study of the concept of the hidden God in recent German theological works and the significance of this concept for contemporary theological thinking."

Writings by others consists of drafts of Paul Tillich's Systematic Theology, in the writing of which Dillenberger assisted Tillich. There is a complete draft of volume 1 plus fragments of other drafts. Revisions to the completed draft are Tillich's alone, while the fragments contain revisions by both Tillich and Dillenberger.

Memorabilia contains calendars, clippings, a few notes on administrative matters, invitations and programs from events attended by Dillenberger, honoraria, Dillenberger's Pastor's Manual from his time as a chaplain in the U.S. Naval Reserves, and assorted printed material including publicity for his books.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is alphabetical by correspondent name. Dillenberger's writings are subdivided by type; within that, they are arranged alphabetically by title.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

A number of published items by Dillenberger and his wife Jane have been removed from the collection and transferred to Rare Books for cataloging, as follows. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate these items.

Subject Headings


Adams, James Luther, 1901-1994.
Dillenberger, Jane.
Dillenberger, John.
Funk, Robert W. (Robert Walter), 1926-2005.
Gill, Theodore A. (Theodore Alexander), 1920-2005.
Irion, Mary Jean.
Jones, Bob, 1911-1997.
McCarter, Neely Dixon, 1929-
Miles, Margaret R. (Margaret Ruth), 1937-
Newhouse, Samuel Irving, Jr., 1927-2017.
Pauck, Wilhelm, 1901-1981.
Pelikan, Jaroslav, 1923-2006.
Ricca, Paolo.
Rosen, James M., 1933-
Scharlemann, Robert P.
Smith, Huston.
Tillich, Hannah.
Tillich, Paul, 1886-1965. -- Systematic theology.
Weizsacker, Carl Friedrich, Freiherr von, 1912-2007.
Wheeler, Barbara G.
Yates, Wilson.

Corporate Bodies

Graduate Theological Union.
Hamma School of Theology.
Harvard University.
United Church of Christ.


Christianity and the arts.
Educators -- United States.
Protestantism -- History.
Religion and science.
Religion and the humanities.
Religious thought -- Modern period, 1500-
Theologians -- United States.
Theology -- 20th century.
Theology -- Study and teaching.
Theology, Doctrinal--Historical.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.
Reviews (documents)
Speeches (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John Dillenberger Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of John Dillenberger, 1969-1994.

Table of Contents



Writings by others