The Episcopal Colleagues of Archbishop Thomas Becket

The Episcopal Colleagues of Archbishop Thomas Becket

The Episcopal Colleagues of Archbishop Thomas Becket

The Episcopal Colleagues of Archbishop Thomas Becket

Excerpt

The chapters of this book reproduce with a few slight changes the text prepared for delivery as the Ford Lectures in the first months of 1949. Actually, a very slow delivery was found unavoidable, and in consequence matter equal to at least one-sixth of the whole was omitted, chiefly from the account of the doings of the bishops during the exile of Archbishop Thomas.

An invitation to deliver the Ford Lectures has often been made the occasion for presenting the result of many years of laborious scholarship in a specialized field, and the resulting publication has been a book of great and permanent value. Other lecturers, for this reason or that, have had in mind more directly the audience of the day. The present writer found himself obliged, for various reasons, to adopt the second of these two courses, and the lectures are now published mainly out of deference to a convention, and without modification of style or treatment. This applies particularly to the final chapter, which aims at giving no more than a single aspect of the great controversy. A full treatment would have to take account of all the political and social issues which were present at the time, less explicitly perhaps but none the less powerfully, in the minds of men. As, however, the topic with which the lectures deal abounds in critical problems, great and small, of dates and persons and sources, it seemed useless to print the text without an apparatus of footnotes. In such a field as this any acquisition of knowledge, however small, may help a student who comes after.

I hope that I have acknowledged in the notes the assistance given me by friends at Oxford and elsewhere. The text and notes, when prepared for press, were read and . . .

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