Archbishop Fisher’s archiepiscopate reflected the central issues of his time and place. It was Fisher who oversaw an immense programme of reforms which effectively recast the institutions of the Church of England for generations to come. It was Fisher who proved to be the essential architect, politician and diplomat behind the creation of a worldwide Anglican Communion. His determination to promote the development of relations with other churches produced a vital contribution to the cause of ecumenism, which culminated in his momentous meeting with Pope John XXIII. Archbishop Fisher was a vigorous participant in the questions which defined national and international life. This book explores Fisher’s influence on major contemporary issues and events, including divorce-law reform and capital punishment at home and the end of Empire and the most dangerous years of the Cold War abroad. This new biography establishes the continuing significance not only of the office of Archbishop in the Church but also of the Church at large in the tumultuous world of the later twentieth century. A final section of original source material includes letters, sermons and other writings bringing vividly to life the range and character of Fisher's public and private role.
'The balance of [this] study is about right, and the resulting assessment is generous, scholarly and readable: a valuable contribution to understanding mid-twentieth century Anglicanism.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History '[This book is] immensely readable and should make Fisher’s important life and legacy accessible to a wider audience than Carpenter’s book ever will in the modern era. If the books which follow it in Ashgate’s Archbishops of Canterbury Series are as skilfully composed as this, then the series will ultimately prove to be of great value to scholars and a more general readership alike.' New Directions 'David Hein is an American historian who published an excellent monograph on Fisher five years ago. Now he has teamed up with Andrew Chandler, whose book on the Church Commissioners is an indispensable work for anyone who wants to understand the history of the Church of England in the second half of the 20th century, to produce an extended version of his original monograph. In addition to their text of 156 pages, the authors also include speeches and documents written by Fisher and the record from Hansard of his masterly intervention in the House of Lords debate on Suez.' Church of England Newspaper 'May God have mercy on the next Archbishop of Canterbury, I say, since the office he will hold has certainly not become any more straightforward. This good book might be a helpful read for him.' Church Times ’The balance of the study is about right, and the resulting assessment is generous, scholarly and readable; a valuable contribution to the understanding of mid-twentieth century Anglicanism.’ Ecclesiastical History ’Engagingly written and well-informed, its core chapters provide one of the best summaries of Fisher’s archiepiscopate currently available.’ Journal of Church and State ’...an engaging book...’ Modern Believing