William Ralph Inge
William Ralph Inge (June 6, 1860 - February 26, 1954) was an English author, Anglican priest, and professor of divinity at Cambridge. He was nicknamed The Gloomy Dean.
He was born at Crayke, Yorkshire, England. His father was William Inge (a provost at Worcester College, Oxford) and his mother Susanna (Churton) Inge. His mother's father was the archdeacon of Cleveland. Inge was educated at Eton College and at King's College, Cambridge. He was a tutor at Hertford College, Oxford starting in 1888, which was the year he was ordained as a deacon in the Church of England.
In 1907, he became a professor of divinity at Jesus College, Cambridge, holding the Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity chair. In 1911, was chosen by Prime Minister Asquith to be the Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. He served as president of the Aristotelian Society at Cambridge from 1920 to 1921. Inge then became a columnist for the Evening Standard, a position he would hold until 1946 - a period of 25 years. Ing was also a trustee of London's National Portrait Gallery from 1921 until 1951. He had retired from the Church in 1934. Inge's wife, Mary Catharine Inge, was the daughter of Henry Maxwell Spooner. She died in 1949. Inge spent his later life in Wallingford, where he died on February 26, 1954.
Inge was a prolific author. In addition to scores of articles, lectures and sermons, he also wrote or contributed to over a hundred books in his lifetime. He is best known for his works on Plotinus and neo-platonic philosophy, and on Christian mysticism. He was a strong proponent of a spiritual type of religion--"that autonomous faith which rests upon experience and individual inspiration"--as opposed to one of coersive authority; so he was outspoken in his criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church. His thought, on the whole, represents a blending of traditional Christian theology with elements of Platonic philosophy. He shares this much in common with one of his favorite writers, Benjamin Whichcote, the first of the Cambridge Platonists.
He was nicknamed The Gloomy Dean because of his pessimistic views in his Evening Standard articles and he is remembered as a supporter of animal rights.
The following bibliography is a selection taken from Adam Fox's biography Dean Inge.
Christian Mysticism (Bampton Lectures) 1899
Faith and Knowledge 1904
Studies of English Mystics 1905
Truth and Falsehood in Religion 1906
Personal Idealism and Mysticism (Paddock Lectures) 1906
All Saints' Sermons 1907
Faith and its Psychology (Jowett Lectures) 1909
Speculum Animae 1911
The Church and the Age 1912
Types of Christian Saintliness 1915
The Philosophy of Plotinus 2 vols. (Gifford Lectures) 1918. ISBN 1-59244-284-6 (softcover), ISBN 0-8371-0113-1 (hardcover)
Outspoken Essays I 1919 & II 1922
Personal Religion and the Life of Devotion 1924
Lay Thoughts of a Dean 1926
The Platonic Tradition in English Religious Thought 1926 ISBN 0-8414-5055-2
The Church in the World 1927
Assessments and Anticipations 1929
Christian Ethics and Modern Problems 1930
More Lay Thoughts of a Dean 1931
Things New and Old 1933
God and the Astronomers 1933
Our Present Discontents 1938 ISBN 0-8369-2846-6
A Pacifist in Trouble 1939 ISBN 0-8369-2192-5
The Fall of the Idols 1940
Talks in a Free Country 1942 ISBN 0-8369-2774-5
Mysticism in Religion 1947 ISBN 0-8371-8953-5
The End of an Age 1948
Diary of a Dean 1949
Light, Life and Love (Selections from the German mystics of the Middle Ages) 1904 (currently in the public domain, Project Gutenberg Release #4664 November 2003, available online from  and )
 See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
William Ralph IngeTheology
List of Christian mystics
Fox, Adam. Dean Inge. Helm, Robert. The Gloomy Dean.