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The Church of England and the First World War Paperback – 1 Oct 1996

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Paperback, 1 Oct 1996
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: SCM Press; New edition edition (1 Oct. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0334026695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0334026693
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,367,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Wilkinson explains in detail the enthusastic support given to the war drive by leaders of the Church of England. Just one quote qill giv eyou the idea - the Rev Basil Bourchier, who said:

"This truly is a war of ideals; Odin is ranged against Christ, and Berlin is seeking to prove its supremacy over Bethlehem. Every shot that is fired, every bayonet thrust that gets home, every life that is sacrificed, is in very truth `for His Name's sake'"

But he also tells us of the efforts of a minority to oppose the war, and of the efforts of a large number of clergy to bring religion to the soldiers who were thought to be losing it. Wilkinson explains very clearly the organisation of the National Mission, the social position of Anglican Clergy, and also the theological and liturgical problems brought up by the war. For example, before the war, many Anglican churches did not organize prayers for the dead, which was seen as more a Catholic tradition. Sustained pressure from believers during the war changed this. Wilkinson also points out how the specific religious needs of Catholics (in particular the "last rites") meant that Catholic priests were much more likely to stay close to the front line. Because they were often in danger, they were much more respected by the men than were Anglicans.

An important book.
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