Public and Private Doctrine: Essays in British History Presented to Maurice Cowling

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Maurice Cowling's first two books appeared in 1963, the year in which he also became a Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge. Thirty years later this volume comments on his imminent retirement from Cambridge in two ways. First, it brings together a group of pupils, admirers and critics who have contributed essays dealing with facets of what Cowling calls 'public doctrine' in modern British history. Second, it contains critical assessments of Cowling's role as a major figure in Cambridge intellectual life. Because Cowling is not an anodyne person, this is not an anodyne book. If it contains any flattery then it tends to take the form of engagement with issues with which Cowling himself has done much to promote, especially the centrality accorded by him to religion as a determinant of systematic thought among the British intelligentsia. The result is a volume of important new studies, each of which may be read independently, which review the private cosmologies of politicians and churchmen but also the thought-world of a novelist or historian or architect. The book also situates Cowling's work in its wider environment which will aid those who are coming to it for the first time or who are trying to make sense of its complex filiations. Above all, it seeks to be as unsycophantic, rebarbative and diverting as its dedicatee, while offering something genuinely worthwhile to all readers interested in recent historical and current intellectual tendencies in England.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Much is made at the outset of this volume about Cowling's loathing of Festschriften and the likelihood of his loathing this one especially. This collection of essays, however, by seriously engaging broad issues relating to Christian doctrine in public life and by their worrying of ideas (another Petrean tradition) rather than seeking elegance of expression, embodies attributes that the honoree, if only in the fastness of his rooms, should find satisfying." John D. Fair, Albion
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521400138
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/27/1993
  • Pages: 357
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Frontispiece: Maurice Cowling in 1966
Notes on contributors
Prologue: The retiring Mr Cowling 2
Pt. I Essays on British history
1 The Friends of the Constitution in Church and State 17
2 Paine and Burke: God, nature and politics 34
3 The ripening of Robert Peel 63
4 God's Providence: liberal political economy as natural theology at Oxford 1825-62 85
5 Gladstone, the Roman Church, and Italy 108
6 Victorian historians and the larger hope 127
7 Archbishop Frederick Temple on meritocracy, liberal education and the idea of a clerisy 149
8 George Gilbert Scott junior 1839-1897: 'the history of a narrow mind' 168
9 The doctrinal politics of Stanley Baldwin 181
10 From the Thirty-Nine Articles to the Thirty-Nine Steps: reflections on the thought of John Buchan 209
11 Destiny, history and providence: the religion of Winston Churchill 236
Epilogue: notes towards a natural philosophy of religion 251
Pt. II Ad hominem
Towards the verdict of history: Mr Cowling's Doctrine 273
Skeletons from Mr Cowling's cupboard 322
A bibliography 1948-1991 344
Index 352
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