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Title: Christus consummator : the incarnational theology of Robert Isaac Wilberforce (1802-1857) : an evangelical reassessment
Author: Kuykendall, Ronald Dent
ISNI:       0000 0001 3603 1798
Awarding Body: Coventry University
Current Institution: Coventry University
Date of Award: 2003
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Robert Wilberforce (1802-1857), a son of William Wilberforce, is largely known through his apparent departure from his evangelical upbringing for the Roman Catholic Church following the Gorham Judgment (1850); this decision along with his agreement with much of the teachings in the Tracts for the Times, and friendships with men like Keble, Newman, Froude, Pusey, and Manning, have rendered his great systematic theological synthesis, The Doctnne of the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1848), largely unrecognized by the Evangelical audience to whom it was written. This revisionist thesis will attempt to provide a corrective to the study of the Oxford Movement as a whole by suggesting the need to modify long held theological conclusions concretized in the classic Evangelical work on the subject Peter Toon's Evangelical Theology 1833-1856. To provide the basis for such a revision of the literature this thesis will do five things. First, this thesis will draw together disparate praises for Wilberforce by credible scholars that are suggestive of the need for further research. Next, it will examine the complexities and ambiguities surrounding the task of defining an 'Evangelical' in the first half of the nineteenth century that makes it impossible to make a definitive determination in Wilberforce's case. The third accomplishment this thesis will aim to establish a philosophical and theological context for Wilberforce's various attacks against Evangelicalism of his day. This reexamination of the presuppositional basis of his theological argument and a new openness to appreciate the weaknesses of Rationalism will allow for his arguments to be given their full force and weight. The rest of the main body of research will attempt to set forth Wilberforce's systematic theology based upon the Incarnation. This theology will be extracted and examined through a detailed exposition of his most significant work 'The Doctrine of the Incantation'. Finally, in an appendix it will evaluate the existing literature on Wilberforce for the first time. This evaluation will demonstrate the significance of Wilberforce's work as it anticipated and predated the greatest achievements of the twentieth century Roman Catholic Church with respect to advances in soteriology, ecclesiology, and liturgical theology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available