Warning to liberals about going to L

by
17 January 2014

iStock

From Mr A. M. Hughes
Sir, - Professor Michael Wheeler (Comment, 10 January), in introducing his thesis on liberal Christianity, tells us when different meanings of the word "liberal"came into use. The dates he gives come from the Oxford English Dictionary, and the definitions he quotes are from OED definitions. He used, however, the second edition of that work, which for this part of the letter L dates from 1902.

The online third edition has a revised entry for "liberal" published in 2010. This does not affect the tenor of his argument, but, for instance, the "free from narrow prejudice" sense has been ante-dated slightly, from his 1781 to 1772.

I find it a little surprising that an academic does not use the latest edition of a standard reference work.

A. M. HUGHES (formerly on the OED staff)
3 Moody Road, Headington
Oxford OX3 0DH

Website Survey

Tell us what you think of the new Church Times website.

Take our (very quick) survey: complete survey

The Church Times Podcast

The Church Times Podcast, hosted by Tim Wyatt and Ed Thornton, features a mixture of interviews and news analysis. Listen online

Latest Cartoon

Subscribe now to get full access

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read seven articles each month for free.