The theology of Hastings Rashdall : a study of his part in theological debates during his lifetime
Hastings Rashdall was a well-known Anglican Churchman, who was engaged in debates and discussions with theologians and other scholars of his time. The thesis aims (i) negatively, to repudiate the view that Rashdall's work can be dismissed as stereotyped and outdated; (ii) positively, to show that he is a major contributor to the contemporary debates and a perennially outstanding theologian. Including in its detailed presentation of Rashdall's theological ideas previously unpublished material, the thesis aims to be an original contribution to scholarship in a hitherto neglected area. In Chapter 1 (Introduction) the life and work of Rashdall have been set out in historical context; that is: the later Victorian period from his birth in 1858, through the Edwardian reign and earlier period of George V, to his death in 1924. The main Chapters, 2-5, are on the following aspects respectively of Rashdall's work: doctrine of Atonement; Christology; doctrine of the Church; doctrine of Immortality. Chapter 2, centred on Rashdall's major work, The Idea of Atonement in Christian Theology of 1919, is an analysis of his controversial writings and discussions. Chapter 3 is an investigation into his Christology, especially his speech to the Modern Churchman's Union at Girton College Cambridge in 1921. Chapter 4 treats a wide range of ecclesial topics: they may be identified as: ministry and orders; sacraments; ritual; subscription debates; disestablishment; ecumenism; education. Chapter 5: Rashdall's doctrine of immortality has been analysed in three respects: (i) the resurrection of Jesus; (ii) the after-life; (iii) current debates on the credibility of immortality. A final concluding Chapter reviews the themes of the major areas of Rashdall's theology, seeking to demonstrate its outstanding character. Some avenues for further research are suggested. The Conclusion includes reference to the discussions stimulated by his approaches for contemporary and later theologians.