King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences
F. D. Maurice - a life at King's

Death and legacy

`A picture of ‘The Late Professor Maurice’ published in an obituary shortly after his death, showing him as an old man.’A picture published in an obituary to MauriceMaurice’s expulsion from King’s was not to be the last controversy in which he was involved.

Indeed, in 1859, he published a stinging pamphlet entitled ‘What is Revelation?’ which fiercely challenge Henry Mansel, the Waynflete Professor at Oxford, over his opinions about divine revelation.

This controversy was, in some ways, even more significant than the events of 1853.

However, by the time of his death in 1872 a process of reconciliation with the Anglican orthodoxy had begun, which would see his theology increasingly accepted and even celebrated.

`A copy of a poem published in <i>Punch</i> and later included a scrapbook made about his life. It reads as an obituary to his life.’A poem published in PunchAbove all, he would be remembered for ‘the desire for unity and the search for unity, both in the nation and in the church.’

As Charles Kingsley wrote in his obituary to Maurice, many of the people who attended his funeral were ‘probably reconciled to the Church by him.’

This search for religious unity and reconciliation fitted in well with the rising tide of religious pluralism in Britain at the end of the 19th century and into the twentieth.

Indeed, when he was writing his most important works in the 1840s and 1850s, the Church-State debate was still raging in full. However, by the end of the century pluralism was fundamentally (if grudgingly) an accepted feature of British religious life.

In this context, his theological methodology, one of examining differences in order to understand principles and overcome conflict, was more suited to the direction that the Anglican Church was taking.

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