William Temple, Twentieth-Century Christian

William Temple, Twentieth-Century Christian

William Temple, Twentieth-Century Christian

William Temple, Twentieth-Century Christian

Excerpt

This book is written for the reader who is interested in theology but is not a theologian; in philosophy, but not a philosopher; in society, but not a sociologist. There is one other assumption about the reader: he is either an active or a latent Churchman--and, according to Temple, this covers everybody! Whatever his interest, the reader will find here not a definitive biography but a portrait. A portrait is both selective and interpretive; it is not a photograph or facsimile. This book, therefore, makes no attempt to match the rich detail of full-length studies like that of Dean Iremonger; neither does it try to do more than "picture" the vast extent of William Temple's thought. To keep its length within reasonable bounds I have had to choose facts and materials, and we all know that selection is inherently interpretive. I can only claim that there is no attempt in the text to interpret Temple in the sense of supplying any connective tissue which is lacking in the sources themselves. The lucid style and structure of his thought leave no ground to fill in. All deliberate interpretation has been put in the Notes. For the most part, also, I have kept what scholarly and academic apparatus I have used to a minimum, restricted to the Notes.

If there is complaint about leaving out this or that, let me plead my basic purpose: to produce an account which I hope will have some usefulness and readability for non-professional readers. For example, I have not discussed Temple's disagreement with Gore over the "kenosis" theory, and there are several other matters--all minor, however. In the same way, I have set aside all personal references. But let me say here that my acquaintance with Temple spanned the last thirteen years of his life. It began when he wrote a Foreword for the first number of Christendom:

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