Download The Mind of Gladstone: Religion, Homer, and Politics by David Bebbington PDF

By David Bebbington

William Ewart Gladstone, 4 occasions major Minister of the uk lower than Queen Victoria, used to be not just the main celebrated British statesman of his day but additionally a revered theologian and a devoted student of the traditional Greek poet Homer. by means of interpreting the advance of his rules, this ebook unearths that his political concept as chief of the Liberal get together intertwined along with his faith and classical scholarship.

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Foundations of Gladstonian Conservatism  political forces of the realm should resolve their differences at a single point, ‘as in the British House of Commons’; and ‘the interests of all classes of the community’ should find full expression. These principles, which later in his careeer Gladstone was to develop, were at this stage treated as mere details of the constitution. Its essence lay in the crown, to which Gladstone professed a strong attachment.  The devotion to the throne that was to cause him such anguish when its occupant showed little appreciation of his services was more than a sentiment.

To Gladstone as much as to the great providentialist theologians of the past such as Augustine or Bossuet the developing historical process threw up regimes whose existence was part of the divine purpose. ’ Gladstone is referring here to the  GP , f. . GP B, ff. ). Boyd Hilton, The Age of Atonement: The Influence of Evangelicalism on Social and Economic Thought, – (Oxford, ), pp. –.   Foundations of Gladstonian Conservatism  unchosen responsibilities of individuals to their parents and, by extension, to their rulers.

The utilitarian theorist stated that we do not know the quantity of virtue necessary to salvation. ‘This’, Gladstone exclaims, ‘is the most fatal proposition I have seen in the whole book . . ’ The young evangelical was horrified that an archdeacon should give vent to an unscriptural assertion of salvation by works. It put him on guard against the rest of Paley’s teaching. Soon he was diagnosing the identification of happiness with goodness as the fundamental theological mistake. The Almighty, it was true, willed the happiness of his creatures, but only on condition that they repented of their sins.

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