Samuel Harris (theologian)

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Samuel Harris
Samuel Harris fifth president of Bowdoin College.jpg
5th President of Bowdoin College
In office
Preceded by Leonard Woods
Succeeded by Joshua Chamberlain
Personal details
Born 1814
East Machias, Maine
Died 1899
Alma mater Bowdoin College

Samuel Harris (1814–1899) was the fifth president of Bowdoin College and the first to be an alumnus. After having left Bowdoin in 1871, he went on to teach at Yale Divinity School for 25 years.


After having graduated from Bowdoin in 1833, Harris had been a pastor in Massachusetts from 1841 to 1855 and had taught at the Divinity School in Bangor, Maine before becoming president of Bowdoin in 1867. Having lived in Maine throughout the American Civil War, he was considered by many as a candidate for the United States Senate. Nevertheless, Harris resigned from his position at Bowdoin in 1871 after having grown tired of such activities as fund-raising.

In the same year, he began working at Yale as the Dwight Professor of Systematic Theology. There, he wrote much more often, especially in the 1880s when he published his first major work, The Philosophical Basis of Theism, which received notice from England to Japan. Additionally, God the Creator and Lord of All explained his doctrinal system and he had been writing an unfinished book at the time of his death. When he resigned in 1895, he was given the title of Professor Emeritus. He continued to lecture at the school for an additional two years before permanently retiring.

Published works[edit]

The Kingdom of Christ on Earth

The Philosophical Basis of Theism

The Self-Revelation of God

God the Creator and Lord of All

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Leonard Woods
President of Bowdoin College
Succeeded by
Joshua Chamberlain