Hosea Ballou’s Other Family

This paper focuses on Hosea Ballou, the key intellectual figure in the development of the Universalist denomination in the 19th Century. Most analyses attribute the development of his perspective to such factors as his intellectual brilliance and his inordinate obsession with studying religious ideas. The importance of his Calvinist father in the development of Ballou’s ideas has also received extensive attention. This analysis tries to broaden the discussion of Ballou’s theology by emphasizing more the influence of the Quakers and their theology. The discussion demonstrates the numerous contacts of Ballou with the Quaker community and especially emphasizes the importance of his other family, namely the Quaker orientation of his mother’s side.