Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
I am working with Ben Pink Dandelion doing a PhD on the English Quaker politician of the first half of the twentieth century, T. Edmund Harvey (1875-1955)
Thomas Edmund Harvey was born in Leeds of a prominent Quaker family in 1875. A leading figure of his time, he was a politician and social reformer as well as an author of fiction and of religious, biographical, historical and spiritual works. He was educated at Bootham’s School and Oxford; he is said to have been the first Quaker to have graduated from Oxford since William Penn. 1904-1911 He was a local government councillor in London and Warden of Toynbee Hall, the university settlement in the East End. From 1910 and during the First World War he was in Parliament, representing West Leeds for the Liberals, and in 1916 was one of two Quaker MP’s who successfully pressed for conscientious objectors to be (conditionally) exempted from military conscription. Later he wrote of how ‘a state in the midst of a great war recognised the right of conscience, at any rate in principle, for its individual citizens’ He was involved in Quaker relief work on the continent both during and after the First World War. In 1918 he was ousted from Parliament for his pacifism. His Swarthmore Lecture of 1921, The Long Pilgrimage, is an exposition of the idea and reality of human progress in the light of Christian hope. The vision in the Lecture is a grand one, of human progress driven by a Christian idea of the value of human personhood. His other books include A Wayfarer's Faith (1913) and Saint Aelred of Rievaulx (1932). He returned to Parliament as an Independent 1937-1945 and died in 1955.
The aim of my research is to produce a comprehensive biography of Harvey covering his life and work as a Quaker politician, activist and author. I would be happy to share information.