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Alan Coates Bouquet (1884-1976): Twentieth-Century Foundations for an Anglican Theology of Religion

Kenneth Cracknell


In 1984 the General Synod of the Church of England cordially received the report Towards a Theology for Inter-Faith Dialogue, which affirmed the presence of God with people of other faiths. Many varied influences had led to this positive stance, and this paper notes them. But it seeks primarily to highlight the part played by a Cambridge parish priest, Alan Coates Bouquet (1884-1976), in shaping Anglican attitudes over many decades. His frequently reprinted Pelican books, Comparative Religion (1941) and Sacred Books of the World (1954), were the most accessible sources of information about the world religious traditions in that period. Less widely known is a series of books and pamphlets on what is now known as the theology of religion. In these writings Bouquet set out his own position (“measured tolerance and faithful exclusiveness”) and mediated the Logos theologies of F. D. Maurice and B. F. Westcott.

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