Buchman, Frank Nathan Daniel

Buchman, Frank Nathan Daniel bo͝okˈmən [key], 1878–1961, American evangelist, b. Pennsburg, Pa. The international movement he founded has been variously called First Century Christian Fellowship, the Oxford Group, Moral Re-Armament (often known as MRA), and Buchmanism. Buchman was ordained in the Lutheran ministry in 1902. He was head (1905–15) of religious work at Pennsylvania State College (now Pennsylvania State Univ.). In 1921, Buchman, after five years of extension lecturing for the Hartford Theological Foundation, visited England. There he preached “world-changing through life-changing” among the students at Oxford, hence the name Oxford Group. In 1938 he instituted a campaign known as Moral Re-Armament. The work of evangelism for personal and national spiritual reconstruction is conducted informally and intimately in groups gathered in educational institutions, in church congregations, or in homes. “House parties” take the place of conferences, and religious experiences are shared in personal confessions. The evangelists stress absolute honesty, purity, love, and unselfishness. Moral Re-Armament has always been a controversial organization, resulting from its strident anti-Communist positions as well as from Buchman's open admiration of Adolf Hitler.

See his speeches, Remaking the World (new and rev. ed. 1961); P. Howard, Frank Buchman's Secret (1962); G. Ekman, Experiment with God: Frank Buchman Reconsidered (tr. 1972).

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