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Leonard Hodgson

Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford
1889 to 1969

Leonard Hodgson was born on 24 October 1889 at Fulham England the son of Walter Hodgson an official stenographer to the House of Commons. Leonard attended St. Paul’s School London where his diligent work earned him a scholarship to Hertford College Oxford. In Oxford he gained firsts in both Greats and Theology. In 1913 he was ordained a deacon after spending a year at St. Michael’s College Llandaff. In 1914 after a curacy at St. Mark's Portsmouth Hodgson became Vice-Principal of St. Edmund Hall Oxford at the behest of his former tutor H. H. Williams.

In 1919 Hodgson became Dean of Divinity and Tutor in Theology at Magdalen College Oxford and a year later he married Ethel Margaret du Plat. He was a canon of Winchester from 1931 until his election in 1938 as Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at Oxford an appointment that carried with it the role of Canon of Christ Church Oxford. In 1944 Hodgson succeeded Oliver Chase Quick as Regius Professor of Divinity at Magdalen College a position he retained until his retirement in 1958. He died on 15 July 1969 at his home in Leamington Spa and was buried in Epwell churchyard Oxfordshire.

Hodgson emphasised an essential harmony between philosophy and theology. He believed that the two types of knowledge could work cooperatively to reveal the fundamental intelligibility of the universe.

Hodgson’s principal works include: Essays in Christian Philosophy (1930); The Grace of God in Faith and Philosophy (1936); Towards a Christian Philosophy (1942); The Doctrine of the Trinity (1943); Christian Faith and Practice (1950); The Doctrine of the Atonement (1951); For Faith and Freedom: The Gifford Lectures 1955–1957 in the University of Glasgow (1956); Sex and Christian Freedom: An Enquiry (1967).

  • Michael W. DeLashmutt, University of Glasgow