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Title: In search of the romantic Christ : the origins of Edward Irving's theology of incarnation
Author: Tucker, Nicholas John Cuthbert
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 9615
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis reassesses the evidence surrounding Edward Irving’s controversial teaching about the doctrine of the incarnation. Irving was a controversial figure in his own day and his legacy has been contested ever since he was dismissed from the ministry of the Church of Scotland for teaching that Christ had a ‘fallen’ human nature. This thesis re-examines the emergence and significance of Irving’s teaching. It evaluates the scholarly consensus that his distinctive Christology was a stable feature of his thought and argues the case that his thinking in this area did change significantly. Methodologically, this thesis draws on some aspects of Quentin Skinner’s work in the importance of context (Chapter Two) to understand Irving as he really was, rather than in terms of his later significance. In the light of this, Irving’s biography is examined in Chapter Three, before moving into a discussion of the influential part played by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Irving’s intellectual development (Chapter Four). The second half of the thesis then moves on to consider the development of Irving’s Christology and the questions surrounding its provenance and development (Chapters Five and Six). Finally, in Chapter Seven, possible sources of explanation for Irving’s distinctive ideas about the Incarnation are exhibited and assessed. The argument of this thesis is that Edward Irving developed an account of the Incarnation that was essentially novel, in response to the Romantic ideas that he had derived from Coleridge. In accordance with Coleridge’s assessment, it is argued that this derivation was rendered more complex by Irving’s incomplete apprehension of Coleridge’s underlying philosophy. Nonetheless, it is argued that Edward Irving’s teaching presented a Romantic version of Christ, and that this distinctive conception owes more to the times in which Irving lived than to the theological tradition to which he claimed adherence.
Supervisor: Bebbington, David W. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Christianity ; Scotland ; Nineteenth Century ; Edward Irving ; Romanticism ; Coleridge ; Evangelicalism ; Liberalism ; Chalmers ; Carlyle ; Spirit ; Romantics ; Jesus Christ--History of doctrines--19th century ; Theology ; Doctrinal--Scotland--19th century ; Irving ; Edward ; 1792-1834