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Geoffrey Fisher:

Archbishop of Canterbury

By David Hein

Geoffrey Fisher

Geoffrey Fisher:

Archbishop of Canterbury

By David Hein

An important biographical study of one of the major figures of post-war Anglicanism, and his role in the modernisation of the Church of England.

Trade Information: JPOD
Available as: Paperback, PDF

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Print Paperback

ISBN: 9780227172957

Specifications: 229x153mm (9x6in), 136pp

Published: September 2008


PDF eBook

ISBN: 9780227903131

Specifications: 138pp

Published: November 2014

The first scholarly biographical study on one of the most fascinating figures in 20th century Christianity, who has been neglected for many years by professional historians.

Geoffrey Fisher worked to modernize the Church of England and to develop the worldwide Anglican Communion. His historic meeting with Pope John XXIII, his participation in national debates on the Suez Crisis and nuclear weapons, and his role in crowning Queen Elizabeth II made him a well-known figure in postwar Britain.

A short and accessible book that will be essential to both the professional scholar and the interested amateur who wish to gain a greater understanding of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion during the turbulent post-war period.


1. Formation: 1887–1932
2. Chester and London: 1932–1945
3. Archbishop of Canterbury, 1945–1961: The Church of England
4. Archbishop of Canterbury, 1945–1961: The Anglican Communion
5. Archbishop of Canterbury, 1945–1961: Ecumenical Outreach
6. Archbishop of Canterbury, 1945–1961: Church and State
7. Retirement: 1961–1972


David Hein is Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Hood College. He is a well known academic in the field of Church history and society.

A superb portrait, it is the work of a historian of genuine distinction. Andrew Chandler, George Bell Institute, University of Chichester
What a splendid book. Thought-provoking, exceedingly well written, wise and balanced in its account—not only of Fisher's abilities and achievements but also of his deficiencies and missed opportunities, Hein's work skillfully blends biography and theological analysis with political, cultural, and social history. David L. Holmes, College of William and Mary
Professor Hein has written a sensitive essay on Fisher ... it will have had the beneficial result of bringing us to reappraise his contribution, and see him in a fresher light and perhaps with a greater degree of sympathy than his reputation has enjoyed thus far. New Directions
Compiled with a scholar's attention to detail. It is immensely readable, with plenty of good stories and succinct summings-up. ... Hein covers clearly and concisely all the great issues of Church and State with which Fisher had to deal. Church Times
This volume should find its way on to the shelf of every priest's study as it both informs and enriches our understanding about a crucial period of Anglican and ecumenical history. John A. Moses, in Journal of Religious History
In a lively and well written portrait Hein succeeds in giving us some understanding of what made Fisher 'tick' and the work pulls no punches about its subject's shortcomings. ... The work has many merits and it is a good starting point for an introduction to Fisher's life and thought. Oliver P. Rafferty, in The Heythrop Journal, Vol 53:6