With Volume III of Religion and Public Doctrine in Modern England: Accommodations,[1] the English historian Maurice Cowling brings to an end his monumental project to understand the gradual dissolution of Christian authority in England over the last 150 years. Cowling, for many years a don at Peterhouse, Cambridge, devoted twenty-five years to this project. Volume I, substantially completed in the late 1970s, appeared in 1980; Volume II: Assaults, appeared in 1985. Although he has written several other books on political and cultural topics—and although he and his circle at Peterhouse helped to define a generation of English conservative thought—Religion and Public Doctrine is clearly his magnum opus. It is also a belated declaration of his calling and his penitential act for failing to devote his whole life...


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