Liddon’s lectures on the divinity of Christ stand as one of the hallmarks of nineteenth century English churchmanship. Following the trajectory of the Bible itself, Liddon considers the testimony of the Old and New Testaments, as well as the Ecumenical Councils, in his lectures on the nature of Christ’s divinity.
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Liddon’s lectures on the divinity of Christ stand as one of the hallmarks of nineteenth century English churchmanship. An influential teacher and cleric, Liddon strongly supported the Oxford Movement in its desire to adhere to traditional Christian teaching in the face of the developing biblical criticism of his day. This historic second edition begins with the question of Jesus’ claims about himself as reflected in the Gospel of Matthew before undertaking to demonstrate that the Old Testament anticipates the divinity of Christ. The work that Jesus did on earth stands as a witness to his divinity, according to Liddon’s analysis, and it is also witnessed by his own consciousness of being divine. Moving on to the Gospel of John, clear exposition of Christ’s divinity is found that carries on through the other Johannine writings. The letters of Peter, Paul, and James are farmed for their insights into the issue. Liddon visits the doctrine of Christ’s divinity as it developed in the Ecumenical Councils, and he concludes by considering the consequences of that doctrine.
Originally delivered as the Bampton Lectures in 1866, these observations were warmly received by the public. Whether or not the reader agrees with Liddon’s approach or conclusion, his force of conviction makes this work essential reading for any student of Christological research, particularly as it was debated in the Church of England.
Henry Parry Liddon (1829-1890) was educated at King’s College, London, and Christ Church, Oxford. He became vice-principal at St. Edmund’s Hall, Oxford and he was known for his eloquence and his support of the Oxford Movement. Eventually he was made Canon, then Chancellor of St. Paul’s Cathedral. A friend of Lewis Carroll, Liddon traveled to Russia with him to further the connections between the Russian Orthodox and Anglican Churches.