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Rationalism and its opposition to a degree in divinity at the University of Melbourne, 1905‐1910

Ralph Biddington (Melbourne)

History of Education Review

ISSN: 0819-8691

Article publication date: 24 June 2004

Abstract

There have been a number of studies of church‐state relations and the place of religion in education in nineteenth and early twentieth century Victoria. However, these studies, including J. S. Gregory’s authoritative Church and State, offer no significant discussion of Rationalism. This is somewhat surprising, since Gregory’s influential earlier discussion of church, state and education up to 1872 had included a few paragraphs on Rationalism. It is even more surprising that it was overlooked in Gregory’s later and larger study, which extends to the early twentieth century, since Rationalism was by then a much more powerful force. A consequence of this omission, together with the general shift of scholarly interest away from the church‐state issue, is that little is known about Rationalism and its approach to church‐state relations in the period when, arguably, it was a force to be reckoned with. This article helps correct this omission, first, by examining the development of Rationalism in Victoria up to the early 1900s, and second, by exploring its successful campaign against the Protestant attempt to install a divinity degree at the University of Melbourne.

Keywords

Citation

Biddington, R. (2004), "Rationalism and its opposition to a degree in divinity at the University of Melbourne, 1905‐1910", History of Education Review, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 28-43. https://doi.org/10.1108/08198691200400003

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited