Leonard Hodgson

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Leonard Hodgson (24 October 1889, Fulham, London – 15 July 1969, Leamington Spa) was an Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, historian of the early Church and Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford from 1944 to 1958.

Early life[edit]

Hodgson was the son of Walter Hodgson (1853–1934), a shorthand writer to the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and of his wife Lillias Emma, a daughter of William Shaw of County Durham. He was educated at St Paul's School, London, and Hertford College, Oxford, where he took a first in Greats and another in Theology. He then trained for the ministry at St Michael's College, Llandaff.

Career[edit]

He was ordained a deacon of the Church of England in 1913, after a year at Llandaff. He served briefly as a curate at St Mark's Church, Portsmouth, then in 1914, in a meteoric promotion, he became vice-principal of St Edmund Hall, Oxford. In 1919 he was elected tutor in theology and dean of divinity at Magdalen College, Oxford. He was appointed professor of Christian apologetics the General Theological Seminary, New York, in 1925. He was a canon of Winchester from 1931 to 1938, when he was elected as Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology and canon of Christ Church, Oxford.

During the 1930s he became an active ecumenist and served on the Anglican Council on Foreign Relations. He was also general secretary of the Edinburgh world conference on faith and order in 1937. From 1944 to 1958, he was Oxford's Regius Professor of Divinity. In 1945, he refused the offer to be appointed Bishop of Carlisle, and later also refused the bishopric of Monmouth. He delivered the Gifford lectures, For Faith and Freedom, from 1955 to 1957 at Glasgow University. From 1954 until 1966 (some of this time overlapping with his positions in Oxford) he was Warden of William Temple College, Rugby. In his book Sex and Christian Freedom (1967) he tried to "talk twentieth-century common sense without being disloyal to our ordination vows".

Career summary[edit]

Family[edit]

In 1917, Hodgson proposed unsuccessfully to the novelist Dorothy L. Sayers. On 7 April 1920 he married Ethel Margaret du Plat (1888–1960), the daughter of the Rev. C. F. Archer, Rector of Moy, County Tyrone. They had a son and a daughter.

Major publications[edit]

  • The Place of Reason in Christian Apologetic (1925)
  • Nestorius, The Bazaar of Heracleides (with G. R. Driver, 1925)
  • And was made Man (1928)
  • Essays in Christian Philosophy (1930)
  • Eugenics (1933)
  • The Lord's Prayer (1934)
  • Democracy and Dictatorship in the Light of Christian Faith (1935)
  • The Grace of God in Faith and Philosophy (Paddock lectures, 1936)
  • This War and the Christian (1939)
  • The Christian Idea of Liberty (1941)
  • Towards a Christian Philosophy (1942)
  • The Doctrine of the Trinity (1943)
  • Theology in an Age of Science (1944)
  • The Doctrine of the Church (1946)
  • Biblical Theology and the Sovereignty of God (1947)
  • Christian Faith and Practice (1950)
  • The Doctrine of the Atonement (1951)
  • For Faith and Freedom (1956) (1955-57 Gifford Lectures, Glasgow; 1968 edition: Vol. 1, Vol. 2)
  • Church and Sacraments in Divided Christendom (1959)
  • The Bible and the Training of the Clergy (1963)
  • Sex and Christian Freedom (1967)

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Oliver Chase Quick
Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford
1944—1959
Succeeded by
Henry Chadwick