By Schubert Ogden

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The Notebooks of Schubert Ogden

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Searching the Notebooks:

When searching the contents of the Notebooks, surround phrases with quotation marks: i.e. "knowledge of God".

Use Control-F to search within a single note while viewing it.

Editing of the Notebooks is nearing completion


On October 17, 2006, at a reception honoring Schubert, Drew University announced his gift of the Schubert M. Ogden Papers, a Nachlass that will eventually come to the Special Collections of the Drew University Library.

At the request of several friends and colleagues who knew of Schubert’s Notebooks, he agreed to have his originals scanned and transferred to a website managed by the Drew University Library.  The hope was that in this way, a unique resource for the study of theology would become readily available to the academic community and the broader public.

This project has been nine years in the making.  It is anticipated that at a later date, a “second authorized edition” will be added to this database.

We are indebted to Drew University, especially Jennifer Heise, Coordinator of Digital Services, whose technical stewardship of the project has been our mainstay through each phase of work.

The Editorial Team
March 14, 2018

Philip E. Devenish
Independent Scholar
Hancock, Maine &
Akaroa, New Zealand

Franklin I. Gamwell
Shailer Mathews Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus
The Divinity School
The University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

George L. Goodwin
President Emeritus
The College of St. Scholastica
Duluth  MN

Andrew D. Scrimgeour
Dean of Libraries Emeritus
Drew University
Madison, NJ

Alexander F. Vishio
Acting Associate Conference Minister
Central Atlantic Conference
United Church of Christ
Catonsville, MD


I frankly have some question whether my Notebooks need an introduction. But prospective readers may find a couple of comments to the point.

First, and most important, the notebooks that became my Notebooks were exactly that: books of notes made in the process of learning to think to some effect as a Christian systematic theologian. Just as I could learn how and what to think only by continually reading, thereby making use of others’ minds as well as my own, so I could learn what I already thought and wanted to think only by continually writing—by writing it down, or out, in order thereby to know my own mind—and whether or not to offer it to others to think with as well.

But if my notebooks were, in this way, an essential means of my learning what I thought and whether or not it was worth anyone’s thinking with me, my Notebooks can, I believe, also be a helpful means to anyone else’s learning what I think and why I think it. There is not likely to be a good understanding of the parts of any thinker’s writings without understanding as much as possible of the whole to which they belong. And to this end the hitherto unpublished writings in her or his corpus may well prove to be at least as valuable as anything already publicly available.

My third point is simply a tip on using the entries as edited. In most cases, there is a “scanned pdf” of the entry as I submitted it (or a “pdf version of this document”) that can be brought up alongside the entry as edited. In any case, then, where the text of the edited entry is corrupt or incomplete, or its meaning, for whatever reason, uncertain, bring up the scanned pdf (or the pdf version) and allow it, as, in effect, the autograph, to decide the reading. 

Schubert M. Ogden

November 8, 2018


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