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home > Transactions > Volume 18 - 2012 > ‘Et Incarnatus Est’: 56 The Christology of Thomas Charles Edwards (1837-1900)

‘Et Incarnatus Est’: 56 The Christology of Thomas Charles Edwards (1837-1900)

The rst half of the nineteenth century has been referred to as ‘the age of atonement’.1 Following the natural religion of the eighteenth century, when even orthodox theologians believed that the intelligent design of an ordered universe could be discerned by enlightened human reason on the evidence of creation itself, after the French Revolution a much darker, starker vision of reality had developed in which men’s and women’s alienation from God was emphasized rather than their ability to comprehend, unaided, any harmony between the laws of creation and the workings of a benign providence within the world. The stress was now upon redemption, not upon the divine image within, upon human sinfulness, corruption and guilt, rather than individuals’ aptitude for living the moral life as such. With social unrest abroad and economic dislocation ever more prevalent at home, ‘cosmic optimism seemed inappropriate to the times’.2


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