Herbert Butterfield and the Reinterpretation of the Christian Historical Perspective

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This study is a critical but sympathetic look at the important themes that Butterfield developed as a Christian historian. Based largely on the extensive collection of Butterfield papers at the Cambridge University Library, this study breaks with previous works on Butterfield by McIntyre and Coll on several points. It explores the radical dimensions of his thought on Christianity and demonstrates that he was not only trenchantly critical of political and religious establishments, but also held some unconventional views about biblical criticism and the role of Providence. It also explores systematically his 'scientific' approach to history, arguing that he was highly influenced by Leopold von Ranke.


"The importance of history and of the devoted believer stand as two primes axes of Christianity highlighted in this intellectual biography of Herbert Butterfield. Over and above its technical discussion of history, including its emphasis upon primary archival material, there emerges a concern for the spiritual dimension of life, grounded in human personality, expressed in a pursuit of truth. the seriousness of this engagement is a prime attraction of this volume which I happily commend both to historians of religion and to theologians" - Professor Douglas J. Davies

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
The Making of a Christian Historian
God in History
Providence and the Biblical Tradition
Human Nature and the "Inescapable Predicament"
Historical Thinking: Christian and Secular
Morality and Power Politics
The Nuclear Dilemma
Christianity and the Modern Western Tradition
Conclusion, Bibliography, Index

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