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Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 153 Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, VII$
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Ron Johnston

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264348

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264348.001.0001

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Maurice Frank Wiles 1923–2005

Maurice Frank Wiles 1923–2005

(p.348) (p.349) (p.350) Maurice Frank Wiles 1923–2005
Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 153 Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, VII

Rowan Williams

Frances Young

British Academy

Maurice Frank Wiles (1923–2005), a Fellow of the British Academy, was an Anglican theologian who was able within that tradition to develop the field of ‘doctrinal criticism’. He began his career concentrating on the period of the early Fathers of the Church, and it was this grounding that sowed the seeds of his later work on modern doctrine. Arianism would remain a particular interest. Yet Wiles retained a profound respect for tradition and, like the Fathers, constantly measured his doctrinal critique against the experience of believers in life and worship, regarding theology as second-order discourse – reflection on the significance of what was primary for Christianity, such as the experience of salvation. During his student days two people particularly influenced him: Ian Ramsey, who was Chaplain of his college and his first Theology tutor; and Henry Chadwick, who encouraged his early research in the Church Fathers. The evolution of Wiles' thinking is perhaps best observed in the collection published as Working Papers in Doctrine.

Keywords:   Maurice Frank Wiles, British Academy, theology, modern doctrine, doctrinal criticism, Ian Ramsey, Henry Chadwick, Christianity, Arianism, Church Fathers

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