Archbishop Arthur Michael Ramsey

Archbishop Arthur Michael Ramsey

Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Death 23 Apr 1988 (aged 83)
Cowley, City of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Burial Canterbury, City of Canterbury, Kent, England
Plot The Cloisters
Memorial ID 9949 · View Source
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Archbishop of Canterbury. He served in this position from May 1961 until 1974. Born in Cambridge, England his father was a Congregationalist and mathematician and his mother was a socialist and suffragette. He received his education at Repton School in Repton, Derbyshire, England and at Magdalene College in Cambridge, England where his father was president of the college. While at Cambridge he came under the influence of the Anglo-Catholic dean of Corpus Christi College, Edwyn Clement Hoskyns. He trained at Cuddesdon in South Oxfordshire, England, ordained in 1928, and became a curate in Liverpool, England. He became a lecturer to ordination candidates at the Bishop's Hostel at Lincoln, in Lincolnshire, England and during this time he published a book, "The Gospel and the Catholic Church" (1936). He then became a minister at St Botolph's Church in Boston, Lincolnshire and at St Bene't's Church in Cambridge, before being offered a canonry at Durham Cathedral in Durham, England and the Van Mildert Professor of Divinity in the Department of Theology at Durham University there. In 1950, he became the Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge but the following year he was appointed Bishop of Durham. In 1956 he became Archbishop of York and in 1961 he was installed as Archbishop of Canterbury following the retirement of Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher. During his tenure as archbishop he travelled widely and saw the creation of the General Synod. As an Anglo-Catholic with a nonconformist background, he had a broad religious outlook. He had a particular regard for the Eastern Orthodox concept of "glory", and his favorite book he had written was his 1949 work "The Transfiguration." He had an early dislike of evangelists and mass rallies, which he believed relied too much on emotion. This led him to be critical of Billy Graham, although the two later became friends and he even took to the stage at a Graham rally in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of his later books, "The Charismatic Christ" (1973), engaged with the charismatic movement. He believed there was no decisive theological argument against women priests, although he was not entirely comfortable with this development. However, the first women priests in the Anglican Communion were ordained during his time as Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1966 he met with Pope Paul VI in Rome, where the Pope presented him with the episcopal (bishop's) ring he had worn as Archbishop of Milan. He also enjoyed friendship with the orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, Athenagoras, and Alexius, Patriarch of Moscow. He disliked the power of the government over the church and his support for liberalizing the laws against homosexuality brought him enemies in the House of Lords. He also created controversy over his call for military action against the Ian Smith regime in Rhodesia, and in his opposition to the Vietnam War. He opposed curbs on immigration to England of Kenyan Asians, opposed apartheid, and was also a critic of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. He also opposed the granting of aid money by the World Council of Churches to guerrilla groups. He retired from his post in 1974 and was replaced by Archbishop Donald Coggin. He was created a life peer, as Baron Ramsey of Canterbury, of Canterbury in Kent, enabling him to remain in the House of Lords where he had previously sat as one of the Lords Spiritual. He went to live first at Cuddesdon, then to Durham, and then to Bishopthorpe in York, England where he remained just over a year before moving finally to St John's Home, attached to the All Saints' sisters in Cowley, Oxford, England where he died at the age of 83.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 14 Jun 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 9949
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Archbishop Arthur Michael Ramsey (14 Nov 1904–23 Apr 1988), Find a Grave Memorial no. 9949, citing Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, City of Canterbury, Kent, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .