Skip to content

Francis J. Hall’s Dogmatic Theology

Many of us are familiar with the works of Francis J. Hall, DD; he was a professor of dogmatic theology at the Episcopal Church’s General Theological Seminary in the early 20th century and (or so it seems to me) tended towards the Anglo-Catholic side of doctrine.  He wrote a ten-volume Dogmatic Theology that is actually still being printed by the APCK’s American Church Union, but is in the public domain and hence Google Books has scanned them and made them available as PDF files.

While I am not in agreement with everything Dr. Hall wrote in his books, nevertheless I do have a great deal of respect for him as I think he represents perhaps the best of the American heirs of the Tractarians.  Therefore, since I have now been able to locate and upload all of the ten volumes of his Dogmatic Theology to this blog, I am making them available on this page for public, noncommercial use as per Google’s usage guidelines.  (Note: Volumes V (Creation and Man), VII (The Redemption and Exaltation of Christ) and VIII (The Church and the Sacramental System) have now been added.)

Volume I: Introduction

Volume II: Authority

Volume III: Being and Attributes of God

Volume IV: The Trinity

Volume V: Creation and Man

Volume VI: The Incarnation

Volume VII: The Redemption and Exaltation of Christ

Volume VIII: The Church and the Sacramental System

Volume IX: The Sacraments

Volume X: Eschatology and Indexes

Update, August 18, 2011: Thanks to a commenter below, here are links to volumes one through three of “Theological Outlines” by Francis J. Hall.  These are housed at a site called Hathi Trust and I would encourage you to check that site out.

When you click on these links you will be able to read the books online, or you can then choose to download PDFs.

26 Comments leave one →
  1. Pedro Barreto permalink
    July 7, 2010 11:27 am

    Hey, I’m a Roman Catholic, and I’m making studies of other Christian doctrines, in order to understand better other (and criticize, by the Catholic view, where they are wrong)… It seems that the book over Trinity is with problems…

    • July 7, 2010 12:03 pm

      Thanks for your comment. From what I gather, the book scanned to produce the PDF for the volume on the Trinity was damaged itself, and Google, through no fault of their own, was not able to produce a complete scan of that volume. I do think that beginning with Chapter 4 they did get it pretty much right – most of Chapter 4, and all of the rest of the book.

      If I can find a better PDF I will replace that one.

  2. July 7, 2010 12:27 pm


    I actually have found a far better PDF of Volume 4 (on the Trinity) and I do believe this one is complete. Try this one out and see what you think. Thanks for letting me know about the first file for Volume 4.

  3. Death Bredon permalink
    July 11, 2010 12:52 pm

    Perhaps I am an overly harsh critic of Hall’s work; after all, I did glue all the volumes together for use as a door stop. And an excellent door stop they do make! But, on a more serious note, I prefer C.B. Moss’s single volume “The Christian Faith” to all of Hall’s volumes combined. The reason being that Hall is very much a Anglican Thomist, if there can truly be such a thing, whereas Moss keeps closer to the central tradition of Anglicanism with its insistence that “the consistent mind and voice of the most early Fathers” is a much surer authority in matters of faith than the dry, rationalism of the Medieval Latin Schoolmen.

    • July 11, 2010 2:46 pm

      I don’t disagree with you at all. While I think Francis Hall is valuable as a theological resource, to some extent I do so because a) his works are considered acceptable by some Anglicans today who would never even read Hooker, and b) he does represent an Anglo-Catholic side I can live with, because Hall did remain Anglican and not wannabe Roman. If the “Continuing Anglican” churches were where Hall was theologically, I would have far less doubts about where they are going to wind up. To refer to something you once said, I do see Hall as being Catholic Anglican rather than Anglo-Catholic…if that makes any sense. But I agree Moss is closer to the central tradition of Anglicanism – more of an heir of Andrewes, perhaps.

    • An Anglican Thomist permalink
      July 16, 2011 11:48 am

      Why would it not be possible to be an Anglican Thomist? I’ve heard Hooker referred to as one. I’d consider myself one. From my perspective, I can’t believe that Anglicans have thrown out the Scholastic method. “Dry and rationalistic” my foot! If you’ve ever watched Prime Minister’s Questions, you have seen a modern version of a Scholastic tete-a-tete. I’d say that the problem with reading the Summa is like the problem of reading a Platonic Dialogue, the Book of Job, or Shakespeare. They weren’t meant to be read silently, but to be either read allowed or acted out. A scholastic debate is a rip-roaring event. If you have done a Masters or Doctoral oral defense, then you have seen a vestige of scholasticism. Too bad the oral defense doesn’t have the peanut gallery and the heckling that a medieval scholastic debate had.

      We cannot pretend that Christianity died with the last of the Fathers, and was resurrected by Cranmer. Nor can we pretend that everything between Late Antiquity and the Reformation was bad.
      As more research in Medieval Studies happens, the more the anti-Roman mythology gets stripped away. Sadly, the research rarely makes it to the layman. Instead, we get the kind of nonsense spewed by H.C. Lea–even though he has long been discredited.

      That said, Moss really is the more comfortable choice for the majority of Anglicans.

      Oy gevalt!

  4. Pedro Barreto permalink
    July 12, 2010 12:58 am

    I’m pretty unsure what is the orthodox anglican thinking. Which would be the proper book for that?

    • July 12, 2010 1:29 am


      That is a REALLY good question as you can probably ask three different Anglicans and get four different answers! My recommendation, if you need to narrow it down to one book, would be this one:

      Introduction to Dogmatic Theology on the Basis of the XXXIX Articles by E.A. Litton.

      But you might also try asking that question at the River Thames Beach Party blog and see what they think!

      • Greg permalink
        September 15, 2012 10:16 pm

        The work by EJ Bicknell on the XXXIX iArticles is probably best, in terms of staying loyal to the pre-reformation orthodoxy of Anglicanism. Once the reformation and the tension between the reformers and the traditionalsits gave rise to the XXXIX Articles and similar thinking, the orthodoxy of Anglicanism begins to be obscured by language and thinking that “hides” the truth in plain sight so that an Elizabethan “tight rope walk ” or “via media” position between “reformation” and “traditionalist” may take place. One can no longer read such things and take them at face value without reinterpreting them as a response to whatever excess or error the reformation mind was percieving at the moment on the particular subject. Eastern orthodox positions on many points of theology is more representative or Anglican Orthodoxy that the medieval thought of the West.

    • Death Bredon permalink
      July 12, 2010 8:40 am

      I believe that most of us over at the Beach Party would say that the thinking of the Caroline Divines, which served as exposition of the content of the Elizabethan Settlement best represents orthodox Anglican thought. One of the better ways to get a feel for the Caroline Divines direct is through the topical excerpts in More and Cross’s ANGLICANISM.

      Of course, the sounder expositions of the 39 Articles are a more systematic method for accessing orthodox Anglicanism. I have in mind the works E.J. Bicknell, Edward Harold Browne, and Bishop William Beveridge.

      Catechisms are another path. I would recommend Dean Staley’s THE CATHOLIC RELIGION and C.B. Moss’s THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.

      But beware, very little labelled Anglicanism today passes muster as historically orthodox Anglicanism! The Lambeth Communion has a way of being trendier than thou.

      • July 12, 2010 10:22 am

        I would be in substantial agreement with what Death Bredon has written in his comment. The works of Browne and Beveridge can be accessed on this page that I posted last night, but unfortunately for our immediate purposes most of the others listed by Death are not in the public domain and hence are not likely to be found on the Internet. Archdeacon Edward Welchman’s book on the Articles was published in 1713 and hence is concurrent with the Caroline Divines, so you may want to look at it.

        But I certainly agree that much that is called “Anglicanism” today is not in line with classical Anglicanism. I’d be leery of most that has been written after 1930 – but at least most of that written BEFORE 1930 is in the public domain!

      • Death Bredon permalink
        July 12, 2010 5:50 pm


        I like your 1930 rule very much! Nevertheless, I please let me recommend Wilson and Templeton as a decent exposition of the Articles that is quite accessible:

  5. Pedro Barreto permalink
    July 12, 2010 6:41 am

    Thank you, I appreciate that. I was looking for that book, but I couldn’t find it on Google.

    Liebe Grüße,


  6. Benton H Marder permalink
    August 12, 2010 10:25 am

    On the subject of Francis Hall and the 10 volumes on dogmatic theology, I suggest a couple of books that may not be on-line or on CD-ROM.

    Francis J Hall, “Theological Outlines” Morehouse-Gorham, 1933. This is a one-volume epitome of the larger set. Very handy for its purposes.

    Francis J Hall & Frank H Hallock, “Moral Theology”. Most people don’t know this volume. Our tendency in this area is to furnish materiel to help us think our way through a problem. We don’t have the enormously detailed treatments as does the Roman Church—with the possible exception of +Jeremy Taylor, “Ductor Dubitantium”

    Perhaps a useful reading list could be compiled and posted here on this subject?

    In +,

    • August 12, 2010 11:04 am

      Hey, thanks for the mention of Hall’s “Moral Theology.” I myself am not familiar with that one, so I’ll be looking for it. I like the idea of a reading list as well – if anyone has suggestions we can certainly compile a list. There IS a list already compiled by Fr. Bill Klock of the REC that I like:

      Father Bill’s Annotated Anglican Bibliography

      Perhaps we could use that list as a base.

  7. Benton H Marder permalink
    August 22, 2010 9:14 pm

    This is a sketch for a reading list on moral theology as desired by Brother Will.

    Hall, Francis J & Hallock, Frank H, ‘Moral Theology’, previously mentioned.

    Taylor, Jeremy, ‘Ductor Dubitantium’. This was reprinted as part of his works in 1850, which I have as a Xerox or printout.

    Kirk, Kenneth E , ‘ ‘The Vision of God’. This, in the full-legth edition, also comes as an abridgement.

    Lewis, C S, ‘Christian Behaviour’.

    Dewar, Lindsay & Hudson, Cyril E, ‘Christian Morals’

    Mortimer, R C, ‘Christian Ethics’

    Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, ‘Ethics’. This has been reprinted in recent years. It was written during the war, mostly before his arrest by the Gestapo.

    The Hippocratic Oath. This, of course, is pre-Christian and seemingly restricted to medical practice. However, the spirit of the Oath extends beyond all time and places.

    I leave it to better men to share with us the influence these books, and others, have had upon their moral understanding. This list is of books I have on hand. They all provide food for thought and use in teaching.

    In +,

    • August 22, 2010 9:36 pm

      Wow, thanks so much. I will feature this in a post tonight, if that is OK with you; I think it is a very good list indeed.

      • Benton H Marder permalink
        August 23, 2010 9:57 pm

        Dear Brother Will,

        What I posted above is brief, based on what I had on hand. I’ve been a bit distracted lately, which is why I leave comments on each book to the more knowledgable. Sure, go ahead and use the list. Whatever I write on any site, be it posting or comment, is intended to be shared and used.

        Hope this helps. Benton

  8. December 16, 2010 8:11 pm

    Superb. Right up my alley!
    For liturgy are you aware of Liturgy and worship edited by W Lowther. Commentary on the BOCP.

    But your collection of compendiums etc. is too wonderful. Thank you. Will be purchasing these as I like to own the book. I see Edgar Gibson’s Thirty Nine Articles at 800pp has been republished in 2 volumes or a one volume paperback! Have you any info about God in Patristic Thought by Prestige very costly?


    • December 17, 2010 2:27 am

      Thank you for such a nice comment – and I WILL reply to your email a bit later. I have not read the text by Prestige, but from what I gather God in Patristic Thought is highly regarded. Unfortunately it is a bit costly, as you put it: U.S. $31.30 for a new one – but at least new copies ARE available from either Wipf and Stock or Amazon.

      The book by W.K. Lowther Clarke, Liturgy and Worship, looks most interesting…but I could not find whether any new copies are available. There ARE used copies available fairly reasonably-priced. But as a possible substitute, if any readers are seeking a like book online, one might take a look at The Tutorial Prayer Book by Charles Neil and J. M. Willoughby – which IS available in the public domain. I will see if I can post a link to that one later tonight.

  9. alacrity permalink
    August 17, 2011 6:21 pm

    Theological Outlines can be downloaded here:

    • August 17, 2011 8:19 pm

      Thank you very much for this! I will, hopefully, make a post tonight and mention those volumes being available. And thanks for letting me know about Hathi Trust – what a treasure it is!

      • Anonymous permalink
        August 17, 2011 10:40 pm

        You’re quite welcome. It was gratifying to find them.


  1. New page added: Francis J. Hall’s Dogmatic Theology « Prydain
  2. Reading the Bible for All Its Worth | C. Lowell
  3. Francis J. Hall – Books, Beans, and Beads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: