Herbert Butterfield

Historian as Dissenter

C.T. McIntire

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Herbert Butterfield (1900-1979) was an important British historian and religious thinker whose ideas, in particular his concept of a “Whig interpretation of history,” remain deeply influential. In this intellectual biography—the first comprehensive study of Butterfield—C.T. McIntire focuses on the creative processes that lay behind Butterfield’s intellectual accomplishments.
Drawing on his investigations into Butterfield’s vast and diverse output of published and unpublished work, McIntire explores Butterfield’s ideas and methods. He describes Butterfield’s lifelong devotion to his Methodist faith and shows how his Christian spirituality animated his historical work. He also traces the theme of dissent that ran through Butterfield’s life and work, presenting a man who found himself at odds with prevailing convictions about history, morality, politics, religion, and teaching, a man who elevated the notion of dissent into an ethic of living in tension with any established system.

C.T. McIntire is professor of religion and history at the University of Toronto and fellow of Victoria College, Toronto.

“This important and original work is an intellectual biography that focuses on the life and achievements of a major historian in mid-twentieth-century England.”—Martin E. Marty, University of Chicago

"This masterful intellectual biography by McIntire is based on the enormous archive of personal papers Butterfield left behind. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice

 

“McIntre’s writing has much of the subtlety and exhilaration of his subjects.”—Bevis Hillier, The Spectator

“[McIntire’s] book is a detailed scholarly study of the intellectual odyssey of a complex character.”—Raymond Carr, The Spectator

“A thoroughly researched, annotated, animated exegesis of all Butterfield’s writings.”—Michael Bentley, Times Literary Supplement

"Meticulously detailed and accurate. . . . I greatly welcome McIntire's book. . . Read McIntire—and then Butterfield himself."—John Munsey Turner, Ecclesiastical History

"Herbert Butterfield: Historian as Dissenter is all we might have anticipated. It is transparent, rigorous, and thorough, a work of extraordinary dedication."—Michael Dintenfass, Journal of Modern History

"The volume is a welcome contribution for historians, for religious believers, and especially for those who aspire to be both at the same times."—Mark A. Noll, Studies in Religion
ISBN: 9780300098075
Publication Date: July 11, 2004
544 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
9 b/w illus.