- Temple, William
- ( 1881-1944 )Anglican theologian and church leaderWilliam Temple was raised in the Church of England; his father, Frederick Temple, served as bishop of London (1885-92) and archbishop of Canterbury (1892-1902). After studying at Oxford, Temple taught philosophy there at Queen's College (1907-10), during which time he was ordained a priest. In 1908, he became headmaster of Repton School and four years later began a lengthy tenure as rector of St. James Piccadilly, a large church in central London. While at St. James, he wrote the first of his several books, Mens Creatrix (1917). He was a strong advocate of greater self-governance for the Church of England and won a partial victory in 1919 when the church's assembly was established.Temple was named bishop of Manchester in 1921, archbishop of York in 1929, and archbishop of Canterbury in 1942. He wrote his most important book while at York, Nature, Man, and God (1934), originally delivered as the Gifford Lectures at the University of Glasgow.Temple's ecumenical career began in 1924 with his chairmanship of the Conference on Christian Politics, Economics and Citizenship that met in Birmingham, England. In 1928, he drafted the statement accepted by the Jerusalem Missionary Conference. He went on to chair the 1937 Faith and Order Conference in Edinburgh in 1937, where it was decided to found the World Council of Churches. The next year he was elected chairman of the first provisional conference to create the WCC.Temple died during World War ii.Further reading:■ F A. Iremonger, William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, His Life and Letters (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1948)■ William Temple, Christus Veritus (London: Macmillan, 1924)■ ----, Mens Creatrix (London: Macmillan, 1917)■ ----, Nature, Man and God (London/New York: Macmillan/St. Martin's, 1934).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.