Anglican bishop, theologian; b. Wimbledon, Surrey, England, Jan. 23, 1853; d. London, Jan. 17, 1932. Of aristocratic descent, Gore was educated at Harrow and at Balliol College, Oxford (1870–75). After ordination (1878) he served as a curate in various parishes until he became vice principal of Cuddesdon Theological College (1880). As warden of Pusey House at Oxford (1884–93), he made a notable impact on the undergraduates, took an interest in social questions, and was active in the Christian Social Union. His visit to the Oxford Mission in Calcutta and his resultant experience of India profoundly influenced his life and spirituality. He founded at Oxford in 1892 an Anglican religious order, the Community of the Resurrection (which moved later to Mirfield, Yorkshire), and acted as its superior until 1901. In 1894 he became a canon of Westminster, where his preaching drew large crowds. Despite protests of conservative churchmen, he was named bishop of Worcester (1902). After a division of his diocese, he became the first bishop of Birmingham (1905). He was bishop of Oxford from 1911 until 1919, when he resigned to become dean of theology at Kings College, London. Gore's Anglo-Catholicsm was tinged with a degree of Modernism that distressed conservatives such as Henry Parry Liddon. They were disturbed especially by Gore's views on the limitation and growth of Our Lord's human knowledge (kenotism). Gore was strongly anti-Roman; indeed his rigidity as episcopal visitor of the Anglican Benedictine community at Caldey contributed to their submission to the Holy See in 1913. Abp. Randall davidson sent him to the malines conversations to exert a moderating influence on the more extreme anglo-catholics there. Gore also opposed the Lambeth Conference of bishops in their plans for reunion with the church of South India and on contraception. Gore edited lux mundi (1889) and A New Commentary on Holy Scripture (1928), both expressive of a somewhat Modernist viewpoint. Among his own writings, the most notable are Roman Catholic Claims (1888), The Ministry of the Christian Church (1888, new ed. 1919), The Incarnation of the Son of God (1891), The Body of Christ (1901), and The Reconstruction of Belief (1926).
Bibliography: g. l. prestige, Life of Charles Gore (London 1935). a. dunelm and a. t. p. williams, Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 (London 1931–40) 349–353. f. l. cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London 1957) 571–572.
Revd Dr William M. Marshall