RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 54947092 LA English T1 The mind of Gladstone : religion, Homer, and politics A1 Bebbington, David,, PB Oxford University Press PP Oxford; New York YR 2004 SN 0199267650 9780199267651 AB Gladstone's ideas are far more accessible for analysis now that, following the publication of his diaries, a record of his reading is available. This book traces the evolution of what the diaries reveal as the statesman's central intellectual preoccupations, theology and classical scholarship, as well as the groundwork of his early Conservatism and his mature Liberalism. In particular it examines the ideological sources of Gladstone's youthful opposition to reform before scrutinizing his convictions in theology. These are shown to have passed through more stages than has previously been supposed: he moved from Evangelicalism to Orthodox High Churchmanship, on to Tractarianism and then further to a broader stance that eventually crystallized as a liberal Catholicism. His classical studies, focused primarily on Homer, also changed over time, from a version that was designed to defend a traditional world-view to an approach that exalted the depiction of human endeavour in the ancient Greek poet. An enduring principle of his thought about religion and antiquity was the importance of community, but a fresh axiom that arose from the modifications of his views was the centrality of all that was human. The twin values of community and humanity are shown to have conditioned Gladstone's rhetoric as Liberal leader, so making him, in terms of recent political thought, a communitarian rather than a liberal, but one with a distinctive humanitarian message. As a result of a thorough scrutiny of Gladstone's private papers, the Victorian statesman is shown to have derived a distinctive standpoint from the Christian and classical sources of his thinking and so to have left an enduring intellectual legacy. In Gladstone's mind there was an intertwining of theology, Homeric studies, and political thought.