The Making of Modern English Theology

The Making of Modern English Theology: God and the Academy at Oxford, 1833-1945

Daniel Inman
Copyright Date: 2014
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  • Book Info
    The Making of Modern English Theology
    Book Description:

    The Making of Modern English Theology is the first historical account of theology’s modern institutional origins in the United Kingdom. Having avoided the revolutionary upheaval experienced by continental institutions and free from any constitutional separation of church and state, English theologians were granted a relative freedom to develop their discipline in a fashion distinctive from other European and North American institutions. This book explores how Oxford theology, from the beginnings of the Tractarian movement until the end of the Second World War, both influenced and responded to the reform of the university. Neither becoming unbendingly confessional nor reduced to the secular study of religion, the Oxford faculty instead emerged as an important ecumenical body, rooted in the life and practice of the English churches, whilst still being located in the heart of a globally influential research university as a department of the humanities. This is an institutional history of reaction and radicalism, animosity and imagination, and explores the complex and shifting interactions between church, nation, and academy that have defined theological life in England since the early nineteenth century.

    eISBN: 978-1-4514-8957-6
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-42)

    During the final stages of the Terror in Paris in September 1793, the National Convention abolished all the universities and colleges ofancien régimeFrance. By doing so, the Convention was beginning a process that would directly or indirectly revolutionize the university as a European institution and the practice of theology as a university discipline. The French universities, some of the oldest and most venerable on the continent, had been the training grounds for those defending the religious and political orthodoxies of the eighteenth century and even the fall of Robespierre could not alter the secularist Republic’s underlying conviction that...

  5. 1 ‘Necessary Knowledge’ or ‘Inductive Science’? Theology at Oxford, 1833–60
    (pp. 43-104)

    In the summer of 1839, Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, a probationary fellow of University College, accompanied the Balliol College tutor, Archibald Campbell Tait, on a visit to Bonn. Several decades later, Stanley would be the Dean of Westminster and Tait the Archbishop of Canterbury, but in 1839 they were two young scholars travelling to Germany in search of a better way to organize a university. Stanley had in the previous year won the university Chancellor’s Latin Essay prize on “The Duties the University Owes the State,” and this continental excursion was for both men an opportunity to develop their thinking about...

  6. 2 Theology as ‘Breakwater’ against the Tide of Secularism, 1860–1882
    (pp. 105-158)

    Jowett was understandably pessimistic. Although Pusey had failed in his attempt to have Jowett censured for teaching doctrines contrary to the Church of England (the vice chancellor’s assessor rejected the case), the Convocation of Canterbury had condemnedEssays and Reviewsin 1864. The energy and enthusiasm for biblical writing and critical essays that Jowett had displayed in the previous decade dissipated; he never wrote a book or essay on theology again.

    Arthur Stanley, whose appointment as Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History in 1858 had so delighted Jowett, departed in 1864 for the deanery of Westminster not long after marrying Lady...

  7. [Illustrations]
    (pp. 159-162)
  8. 3 Nonconformity and the Lux Mundi Faculty, 1882–1914
    (pp. 163-222)

    At some point during the afternoon of Saturday, 16 September 1882, a telegram was delivered to Canon Heurtley at Christ Church which simply read, “All over very calmly 3.20pm please have bell tolled”.² On the Monday the canons of Christ Church received the body of Edward Bouverie Pusey, brought to Oxford by road from Ascot Priory. His funeral on St Matthew’s Day was described thus by Henry Liddon:

    The procession of clergy, five or six abrest, reached round three sides of the Great Quadrangle; the fourth, between Dr. Pusey’s house and the Cathedral being kept clear. As the Coffin was...

  9. 4 An Ecumenical Theology: The Makings of an English Paradigm, 1918–45
    (pp. 223-280)

    On 9 February 1932, Congregation assembled in the Sheldonian Theatre, beneath Robert Streater’s ceiling–fresco of Truth descending upon the Arts and Sciences to dispel ignorance in the university. The university’s governing assembly had convened to determine the future of Responsions, the examinations that school–leavers sat prior to matriculation. Ostensibly, it was a debate sterile of any interest beyond what sorts of knowledge ought to be considered as preparatory to a university education. This meeting of Congregation was, however, a seminal moment in the history of the University of Oxford’s foundational relationship with Christianity and the history of higher...

  10. Epilogue: From ‘Sacra Theologia’ to ‘Theology and Religion’
    (pp. 281-292)

    As this book is written, one hundred years after Henry Scott Holland and the faculty board attempted to ‘disestablish’ divinity and introduce a ‘school of sacred learning’ in the university, the theological faculty at Oxford has just rebranded itself as a ‘Faculty of Theology and Religion’ and, soon, undergraduates will be examined for the first time in the ‘Honour School of Theology and Religion’. This decision has been taken to reflect how, over the past twenty years, Oxford’s theology faculty has diversified to include the study of other world religions and the nature of religion itself. It was also a...

  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 293-320)
  12. Index
    (pp. 321-334)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 335-335)