‘The Next Best Thing’: Official Attitudes towards the Colleges

David Dowland

in Nineteenth-Century Anglican Theological Training

Published in print September 1997 | ISBN: 9780198269298
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683589 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

‘The Next Best Thing’: Official Attitudes towards the Colleges

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In the nineteenth century, the colleges did not have to worry about conforming to the rules and standards of the fully centralized Church bureaucracy. Their primary concern was on the attitudes of individual bishops wherein Episcopal responses varied significantly depending on a range of interacting factors. These factors that gave rise to differing views and the seemingly antagonistic stance of the bishops depended on the date of foundation, the location and connection and the partisan standpoint of the college. Personalities of the colleges were significant as well. An unorthodox founder attracted stronger criticisms than a conventional founder. Although it is difficult to determine how the innovative aspects of these colleges incurred the lashing tongues of the bishops, Episcopal coldness may be an expression of justifiable concern about the difficulty of incorporating the new colleges within the established structure and the need to claim reputation by proving these colleges' worth. The idea of the inferiority of college education spurring from the perceived narrowness of the theological education and non-graduate colleges was the most depreciatory criticism flung by the bishops.

Keywords: colleges; bishops; Episcopal responses; college education; criticism; reputation

Chapter.  10501 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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