Henry Scott Holland
Henry Scott Holland
|Born||27 January 1847|
Near Ledbury, England
|Died||17 March 1918 (aged 71)|
|Known for||Founding the Christian Social Union|
|Church||Church of England|
|Canon of Christ Church, Oxford|
|Alma mater||Balliol College, Oxford|
|School or tradition|
|Institutions||Christ Church, Oxford|
Henry Scott Holland (27 January 1847–17 March 1918) was Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford. He was also a canon of Christ Church, Oxford. The Scott Holland Memorial Lectures are held in his memory.
Family and education
Holland was born on 27 January 1847 at Ledbury, Herefordshire, the son of George Henry Holland (1818–1891) of Dumbleton Hall, Evesham, and Charlotte Dorothy Gifford, the daughter of Lord Gifford. He was educated at Eton where he was a pupil of the influential Master William Johnson Cory, and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he took a first-class degree in greats. During his Oxford time he was greatly influenced by T. H. Green. He had the Oxford degrees of DD, MA, and honorary DLitt. He was ordained as a deacon in 1872 and as a priest in 1874.
Religious and political activity
After graduation, he was elected as a Student (fellow) of Christ Church, Oxford. In 1884, he left Oxford for St Paul's Cathedral where he was appointed canon.
He was keenly interested in social justice and formed PESEK (Politics, Economics, Socialism, Ethics and Christianity) which blamed capitalist exploitation for contemporary urban poverty. In 1889, he formed the Christian Social Union.
In 1910, he was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University, a post he held until his death on 17 March 1918. He is buried in the churchyard of All Saints Church, Cuddesdon, near Oxford. Because of his surname, Mary Gladstone referred to him affectionately as "Flying Dutchman" and "Fliegende Holländer".
While at St Paul's Cathedral Holland delivered a sermon in May 1910 following the death of King Edward VII, titled Death the King of Terrors, in which he explores the natural but seemingly contradictory responses to death: the fear of the unexplained and the belief in continuity. It is from his discussion of the latter that perhaps his best-known writing, Death is nothing at all, is drawn:
Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
The frequent use of this passage has provoked some criticism that it fails to accurately reflect either Holland's theology as a whole, or the focus of the sermon in particular. What has not provoked as much criticism is the affinity of Holland's passage to Augustine of Hippo's thoughts in his fourth-century letter 263 to Sapida, in which he writes that Sapida's brother and their love, although he has died, still are there, like gold that still is yours even if you save it in some locker.
- ^ Grimley 2004, p. 47; Jones 1968, p. 170; Rowell 2015, pp. 1–2.
- ^ Jones 1968, p. 170.
- ^ Bradstock & Rowland 2002, p. 193; Grimley 2004, p. 47.
- ^ McIntosh 2018, p. 15.
- ^ Burgess 2017, p. 37.
- ^ Lubenow 2007.
- ^ . The Times. London. 18 March 1918. p. 10.
- ^ Wheeler, Michael (8 June 2018). "Much More than Nothing at All – Henry Scott Holland". Church Times. London. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
- ^ Bradstock & Rowland 2002, p. 193.
- ^ Drew 1924, p. 57.
- ^ Heidt, John (March 2000). "The King of Terrors: The Theology of Henry Scott Holland". Contemporary Review. Vol. 276, no. 1610. London. pp. 121–126. ISSN 0010-7565.
- Bradstock, Andrew; Rowland, Christopher, eds. (2002). Radical Christian Writings: A Reader. Oxford: Blackstock Publishers. ISBN 978-0-631-22249-1.
- Burgess, Marolyn Joy (2017). A Study of the Origins, History, Essence and Legacy of Toc H, a Christian, Voluntary, Social Welfare Services Organisation in Twentieth Century Britain (MA thesis). Birmingham: University of Birmingham. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
- Drew, Mary (1924). Acton, Gladstone and Others. London: Lisbet & Co. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
- Grimley, Matthew (2004). Citizenship, Community, and the Church of England: Liberal Anglican Theories of the State Between the Wars. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199270897.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-927089-7.
- Jones, Peter d'Alroy (1968). The Christian Socialist Revival, 1877–1914: Religion, Class, and Social Conscience in Late-Victorian England. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press (published 2016). ISBN 978-1-4008-7697-6. JSTOR j.ctt183pj8c.
- Lubenow, William C. (2007). "Synthetic Society (act. 1896–1909)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/96304.
- McIntosh, John A. (2018). Anglican Evangelicalism in Sydney, 1897 to 1953: Nathaniel Jones, D. J. Davies and T. C. Hammond. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock. ISBN 978-1-5326-4307-1.
- Rowell, Geoffrey (2015). "Henry Scott Holland (1847–1918): Life and Context". International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church. 15 (1): 1–6. doi:10.1080/1474225X.2015.1006494. ISSN 1747-0234. S2CID 144625553.
- Russell, George W. E. (1918). Prime Ministers and Some Others. London: T. Fisher Unwin. OCLC 1050819087. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
- Wilkinson, Alan (1998). Christian Socialism: Scott Holland to Tony Blair. London: SCM Press. ISBN 978-0-334-02749-2.
- Works by Henry Scott Holland at Faded Page (Canada)
- Henry S. Holland (at Spartacus Educational)
- Works by or about Henry Scott Holland at Internet Archive
- Works by Henry Scott Holland at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- 1847 births
- 1918 deaths
- 19th-century English Anglican priests
- 19th-century English theologians
- 20th-century English Anglican priests
- 20th-century English theologians
- Alumni of Balliol College, Oxford
- Anglo-Catholic clergy
- Anglo-Catholic socialists
- Anglo-Catholic theologians
- Christian hymnwriters
- Christian socialist theologians
- English Anglo-Catholics
- English Christian socialists
- Fellows of Christ Church, Oxford
- People educated at Eton College
- People from Ledbury
- Regius Professors of Divinity (University of Oxford)