This study of the life and thought of John Williamson Nevin (1803-1886) offers a revised interpretation of an important nineteenth-century religious thinker. Along with the historian Phillip Schaff, Nevin was a leading exponent of what became known as the Mercersburg Movement, named for thecollege and theological seminary of the German Reformed Church located in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. The story is a neglected aspect of American studies. Wentz provides a kind of post-modern perspective on Nevin, presenting him as a distinctively American thinker, rather than as a reactionary romantic. Although influenced by German philosophy, historical studies, and theology, Nevin's thought was a profound response to the American public context ofhis day. He was, in many respects, a public theologian, judging the prevailing development of American Christianity as a new religion that was fashioning its own disintegration and that of American culture at large. Nevin's reinterpretation of catholicity in the American context opened the way for aradical understanding of religion and of American public life.