Logo Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy On the Way to a Planetary Solidarity Menü

Norman Fiering: Anthropurgy

Ray Huessy and others are hurriedly completing the processing and scanning of the papers of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy and his wife, Margrit, which will all be turned over to the Dartmouth College Library before the end of this calendar year. More news about that transaction will be coming soon.

The other day, Ray called attention to the following note by ERH found amidst the Papers:

“In 1903, President William DeWitt Hyde of Bowdoin College wrote a hymn which has been curiously overlooked by most hymnbook editors.

Creation’s Lord, we give thee thanks
That this thy world is incomplete,
That battle calls our marshalled ranks
That work awaits our hands and feet,

That thou hast not yet finished man,
That we are in the making still -
As friends who share the Maker’s plan,
As sons who know the Father’s will.”

Then John Baldwin, in response, provided me with the address of a website that contains all five verses of the hymn, plus the music that Hyde found to set it to.

There is also a link that tells a little about Hyde (1858-1917):

Rosenstock was undoubtedly delighted to come upon that little-known hymn because he referred often to Man’s unfinished state, strikingly and unforgettably on p. 727 of Out of Revolution (1938), as follows:

In The Christian Future (1946), ERH writes:

ERH’s concept of “anthropurgy” is treated in Peter Leithart’s June 28, 2007 essay in the online version of the journal First Things, “The Relevance of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy” and also in Wayne Cristaudo’s essay on ERH in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.


Complete Lyrics

Creation’s Lord, we give Thee thanks
That this Thy world is incomplete;
That battle calls our marshaled ranks;
That work awaits our hands and feet.

That Thou hast not yet finished man;
That we are in the making still,
As friends who share the Maker’s plan
As sons who know the Father’s will.

Beyond the present sin and shame,
Wrong’s bitter, cruel, scorching blight,
We see the beckoning vision flame,
The blessèd kingdom of the right.

What though the kingdom long delay,
And still with haughty foes must cope?
It gives us that for which to pray,
A field for toil and faith and hope.

Since what we choose is what we are,
And what we love we yet shall be,
The goal may ever shine afar—
The will to win it makes us free.