|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is organized in one series arranged by content type.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains reports, bulletins, articles and newspaper clippings, personal accounts, speeches, conference notes, strategic plans, correspondence, and other papers from Robert C. Dodds' participation in the National Council of Churches, the Fourth Session of the Second Vatican Council, and the ninth meeting of the Consultation on Church Union. Vatican II documents include a copy of the Directorium Oecumenicum, addresses given by the pope and council observers, a list of invited delegates and observers to the council, liturgical materials, official Vatican news bulletins and press documents, newspaper clippings, and Vatican maps. Post-Vatican II material relates to Dodds' involvement in conferences and other efforts after Vatican II to further the ecumenical mission of the council and move towards the goal of Christian unity, and includes papers from the "Dialogue on Post Council Themes" held in Rome directly after the council in 1965, Dodds' prospectus for a television series documenting reactions from the delegate of observers to the council, materials from the Notre Dame International Conference on "Theological Issues of Vatican II" held in 1966, the agenda for a meeting held between the National Council of Churches and the Vatican Secretary for Christian Unity in 1969, and reports on the National Council of Churches delegation to the Vatican, which document the relationshi between the National Council of Churches and the Roman Catholic Church. National Council of Churches materials include a paper written by Dodds on race relations and the civil rights movement within the church, a consultation with Daedalus Quarterly to discuss the possibility of publishing an ecumenical journal, planning documents, and a copy of the Plan of Union distributed during the ninth meeting of the Consultation on Church Union in 1970. Other materials include Dodds' personal correspondence primarily during his participation at and after Vatican II, his personal notes and diary from his time in Rome, and articles written by Dodds as well as published materials that he collected.
Burke Library record group:
William Adams Brown Ecumenical Library Archives
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list.
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, WAB: Robert C. Dodds papers, 1962-1974, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
WAB: Vatican II Ecumenical Council Records, 1962-1980, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
WAB: National Council of Churches records, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by Robert C. Dodds to Union Theological Seminary in 1974.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Some material cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-08-09. 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 Kristen Leigh Southworth in 2012 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2021.
2021-11-10 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Reverend Robert C. Dodds was born in 1919. He was a graduate of Columbia College and Harvard Divinity School, and served as a minister in the United Church of Christ to congregations in Dennis, MA, Waterbury, CT, and Wantagh, NY. He was also a psychologist and a marriage counselor, and was a founding member of the Couples Institute of New England, as well as president of the Northeast Seminary for Transactional Analysis. Dodds' passion and skill for building relationships beyond differences also manifested in his dedicated and influential involvement with the ecumenical movement of the 1960's and early 1970's. In October 1961 Dodds was appointed General Director of Planning of the National Council of Churches (NCC), an ecumenical partnership between thirty-seven denominations. Dodds served in this capacity until 1965, when he went on to serve as Associate Secretary and Director of Ecumenical Affairs until May 1970. Dodds wrote a number of articles and papers on the subjects of marriage counseling and ecumenism. During his involvement with the National Council of Churches he was a vocal supporter of the notion of general church membership and full intercommunion between Christian denominations. Toward that end, he was a part of the ninth meeting of the Consultation on Church Union held in St. Louis, MO in 1970, which sought to envision a new church that was "truly catholic and truly reformed." He was also invited as a delegate to the fourth session of the Second Vatican Council, where he participated as both an observer and a dialogue partner with Roman Catholic clergy. Dodds died in 1989 at seventy years old in Montpelier, VT after a long illness and was survived by his wife Elisabeth, his daughter Margaret Bulow, his two sons Paul and Andrew, his brother Joseph, his sister Alice, and two grandchildren.