Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury: A Life

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury: A Life

Article excerpt

Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury: A Life, By Peter Hinchliff. (New York: Clarendon Press, Oxford University Press. 1998. Pp. vii,311.$75.00.)

During his long and active ecclesiastical career, Frederick Temple held some of the most important posts in the Church of England during critical periods for the Victorian Church. Temple was an undergraduate and fellow of Balliol College during the Oxford Movement, a close friend of Matthew Arnold, Benjamin jowett, and A. C. Tait, a noted educational reformer and headmaster of Kneller Hall (an experimental workers college) and Rugby, contributor of the lead article to the controversial Essays and Reviews, Bishop of Exeter and London and Archbishop of Canterbury. Yet, as the late Peter Hinchliff observes at the opening of this work,-There has never been a full biography of Frederick Temple." This oversight owes partly to the attention paid Temple's more charismatic colleagues (even his friends admitted that Temple was often brusque and uncommunicative) but also to a general confusion regarding his theological and political views.The standard view, conveyed in the Dictionary, of National Biography, depicts Temple as a young Tory turned Broad Church liberal. In his masterful survey The Victorian Cburch, Owen Chadwick describes Temple as one of the chief instigators, along with jowett, of Essays and Reviews mid considers Temple's Bampton Lectures of 1884 as reflective of his axiomatic acceptance of evolutionary theories. But a case can be made for Temple as High Church champion-he became a leading advocate of the prerogatives of the episcopacy and the status of "voluntary" (Anglican) schools and refused to issue a blanket condemnation of ritualism in London and Canterbury.

Peter Hinchliff addressed this problem shortly before his death in this careful biography, which concentrates on the public (there is very little of the private) Temple. Hinchliff detects an underlying consistency throughout Temple's career. …

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