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Hastings Rashdall

1858-1924. Anglican moral philosopher and theologian. Educated at Harrow and New College, Oxford, he taught philosophy at Lampeter, Durham, and Oxford. An advanced liberal and moderate High Churchman, he strove to revive the inspiration of the Cambridge Platonists* in contemporary Anglicanism, and deplored the current immanentist theology as well as Inge's* mysticism and Ritschl's* historicism. To many he seemed to deny the validity of religious experience altogether and to profess a cold moralism. A notable book, The Theory of Good and Evil (1907), tried to work out a harmony between Utilitarian and Idealist ethics and adumbrates Rashdall's curious doctrine of a limited God, for God as Personality must be less than the Absolute which contains him. Vice-president of the Modern Churchman's Union from its foundation in 1898, Rashdall delivered the Bampton Lectures on The Idea of the Atonement (1915) which have been called a brilliant restatement of the Abelardian or Exemplarist theory; in fact they combine distorted criticism of Paul, Augustine, and the substitutionary view with a wayward interpretation of Scripture and a doctrine of the Atonement far more rationalistic than Abelard ever professed.