[Francis Crawford Burkitt, Norris Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge.] Autograph Letter Signed ('F. C Burkitt') to 'Mr Bushell' [W. D. B ushell, Chaplain of Harrow], on his election as professor, regarding his theological position.

F. C. Burkitt [Francis Crawford Burkitt] (1864-1935), theologian and scholar, Norris Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge [William Done Bushell (1838-1917), Chaplain of Harrow School;
Publication details: 
On letterhead of St Keynes, Cambridge. 14 November 1905.
SKU: 21047

4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged. A long and interesting letter, describing in detail his position on his election as Cambridge Professor of Divinity. He begins by thanking him for writing, adding: 'You can imagine that we are feeling just now quite beside ourselves.' He agrees with him that 'the Professorship is a great responsibility to a layman'. He continues: 'The Heads have elected me, knowing that their choice represents a definite endorsement of what may be called in newspapers “free, advanced criticism”. I am therefore all the more anxious not to be rash and as much as possible to gain the sympathy of those who have the welfare of the Christian Church at heart.' In his opinion 'the real danger is that Cambridge tends to become predominantly secular with a little stream of religion running through it, but not covering the ground'. He has occasionally 'heard complaints that the Theological Students – the ordinary ones, not perhaps the clever ones – get a little Biblical criticism, but nothing to carry them through in the world'. He has confidence that the 'Old Testament part' is safe in the hands of Professor of Hebrew R. H. Kennett, 'but what is wanted is to apply the Christian part of theological learning to present day problems – a kind of marriage between erudition & religion'. He is uncertain of his own ability to 'do anything towards this', 'but at least I see the crying need of translating the formulae of Christian theology into the language which is used to-day out of doors, outside the Church doors. The work won't be done by drawing a ring-fence round the N. T. or round the Gospels or even round the Person of our Lord.' He has confidence that if 'Christianity is fundamentally true, it will digest & transform the current philosophy as it did the Aristotelianism of the Middle Ages.' He thanks Bushell's wife on his own behalf and that of 'Perch', adding that he has 'written over ninety letters, besides drawing up a long Report to the V. C. on Palaeographical Teaching in this University'.