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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: April 2012

4 - At Cambridge


Being a scholar born, Alan found himself thoroughly in his element when he went up to King's as a mathematical scholar in October 1931. The balance of freedom and discipline just suited him. He at once took up rowing, being in the College trial eights in 1931, 1933 and 1934. For one so shy it was a curious thing that he very much enjoyed reading the lessons in King's College Chapel, which as a scholar he was occasionally called upon to do. He was too reticent about his religious beliefs to reveal just where he stood. He often accompanied me to church at festivals, as well as attending chapel at King's – things he was too honest to do had he not been, at least, in limited agreement with Christianity, though he was certainly not orthodox. “Within the framework of his science he believed in the great order of things,” according to a very intimate friend. In his last year or so, happening to glance through the Church of England Catechism, by then forgotten by him, he expressed great admiration for the sound exposition of the “Duty to one's Neighbour.” Whenever he referred to Jesus Christ he always did so with reverence using the term “Our Lord,” which speaks for itself. While still at school his opinion of daily school chapel was that the practice was a good one, even if one were apt to be in a state of semi-coma. This may sound paradoxical, but what he commended was evidently the corporate recognition of religious obligation.

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Alan M. Turing
  • Online ISBN: 9781139105736
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