|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is organized in one series arranged in rough chronological order by material type.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains sermons, bulletins, articles and clippings, photographs, and personal materials, including a diploma and poetry notebooks. There is significant overlap in many of the years of the sermons, which are annotated and were likely given at different times and occasions. Documents related to the specific places where Brown preached, such as the Maadi Church in Cairo, are also included, as are documents pertaining to the schools where he taught, including American University in Cairo (AUC), American University in Beirut (AUB), and Bates College.
Burke Library record group:
Union Theological Seminary Archives: UTS 1, papers of faculty and students
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, UTS1: Arthur Mason Brown papers, 1921-1984, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Arthur Mason Brown papers were donated by Nancy Brown Strump in 2012.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. Acidic items were separated from one another by interleaving with acid-free paper as needed. Any items in an advanced state of deterioration were placed in Mylar envelopes. The finding aid was created by Paul Paulson in 2016 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2022.
2022-05-05 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Arthur Mason Brown was born in Beirut, Lebanon on March 16, 1921. The son of Julius and Helen Brown, Brown was also the grandson of Francis Brown, the 7th President of Union Theological Seminary. As a child, Brown attended the American Community School (ACS) in Lebanon and later the Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts. From 1939 to 1943, he attended Dartmouth College and thereafter became a Lieutenant in the US Navy through the final years of WWII. He married in 1947, and in the same year began studies at Union Theological Seminary, receiving his Bachelor of Divinity in 1949. Brown was ordained in 1951 by the congregation of the Fairfield Congressional Association while pursuing his Ph.D. at Union. From 1950 to 1955, he was professor of religion and philosophy at the American University of Cairo (AUC) in Egypt and preached at the Maadi Community Church in Maadi, Egypt. Upon returning to United States, Brown first settled in the South, working as a minister in Tryon, North Carolina and later teaching at Converse College in South Carolina before turning back north to serve as a minister in Montpelier, Vermont. While in Vermont, he taught at Goddard College and preached at various parishes throughout the state. After finishing his Ph.D. thesis, he left Vermont to teach at Bates College in Maine from 1964 to 1978. He returned to Lebanon during a sabbatical year (1970-1971) in which he taught at the American University of Beirut (AUB). In 1978, Arthur Mason Brown suffered a debilitating stroke which required him to learn to walk again and write with his non-dominant hand. This event led to a crisis of faith which drew him to theological discourses such as those exemplified by Paul Tillich's rejection of theism. In many writings completed during the period following his stroke, Brown would replace the name God with 'Truth' or 'Love'. This period also marks the beginning of Brown's more consistent poetic practice, of which there are two volumes available titled, Thru Haiku Seeds (1982) and In, Out and Through (1983). Arthur Mason Brown died in Auburn, Maine on Oct. 26, 1989 and was survived by his daughter and two sons.