'Gathering together an impressive range of printed sources, it remains the leading published work on the subject.' --Stephen Parker and Tom Lawson, editors, God and War, 2012 'It is the most vivid account yet available of English religion in this or any other period of the twentieth century. ... But Canon Wilkinson is no apologist for the official church.' -- David Edwards, in The Church Times' Few non-fiction books enjoy such durability and it is a tribute to the quality of the original research that The Church of England and the First World War remains the definitive and comprehensive work on the established church in that conflict. [...] Wilkinson gives a vivid impression of the role of the Church in providing practical and emotional support for anxious and bereaved relatives of those fighting as well as service to the fighting men themselves. It is a mark of the quality of the original analysis that thirty-six years after initial publication Wilkinson's book is still relevant, not only to the historical Church as it entered the war in 1914 or indeed as it emerged from it in 1918, but as it exists today with all the moral and theological complexities, contradictions and ambiguities that that entail from any meeting of conflict and the spiritual. [...] For church historians this volume presents the war as a watershed for the life of the Church and its place in society.' -- Julia Lee Dean, Writer and WW1 Daily's Religious Affairs Editor, in WW1 Daily, 24th February 2014 'In each of the chapters of his book, Canon Wilkinson examines a different aspect of the Church's role during the war, from the surprise at the start of hostilities at all, to the service provided to woeful widows at home and weary warriors at the front, to the question of the morality of the war, and how Christians of various stripes responded. [...] In providing a history of how the Church attempted to deal with these and other issues, Canon Wilkinson offers something of a blueprint for how the Church might choose to face a society in the throes of deep change - a lesson from the past, providing a possible pattern for the future.' -- Michael Trimmer, in ChristianToday.com, 1st of March of 2014 'I read this volume when it was published the first time around. Reading it again as the centenary commemoration of the First World War approaches is an even more sobering and profound experience. No one is allowed to misunderstand the complexities and ambiguities of the church's involvement in this most tragic of conflicts. This historical and perhaps unintentionally theological reflection on the horror of this particular war is masterful.' --Rob Marshall, Team Rector of East Ham, in BBC Radio 4's Thought for the DayIf you wish to read a fully researched penetrating, balanced and insightful critique of the Church s ministry at a pivotal time in our nation s history, then you will not be disappointed. --Simon Lemieux, Pompey Chimes, (May, 2014) 'Alan Wilkinson, an impressively insightful Anglican priest, surveys comprehensively the Church's involvements in the Great War - ranging from the livid propaganda, through agonized reflection, to an incipient pacifism that was not fully articulated within Anglicanism till the 1930s.' --Jonathan Benthall, in The Times Literary Supplement, March, 2014 Dr Wilkinson has made some interesting and welcome additions in this edition which is timely in view of the date... The very detailed notes and bibliography should help readers to go deeper into understanding just what made people endure suffering and hardship and deaths almost without number, and continue to honour and serve Jesus, the incarnate Lord. --Aidan CR, Quarterly Review of the Community of the Resurrection, St John the Baptist 2014
A broad survey of the Church of England in wartime…is to be found in Alan Wilkinson's The Church of England and the First World War. Cyril Pierce, Reviews in History, Review no. 1779, June 2015 …packed with memorable stories and striking facts. Peter M. Waddell, Reviews in Religion & Theology, 22:4, 2015 "The book is meticulously researched [...] It is a work of great scholarship and [...] a most compelling book to read." --Jeremy Symes, Quaker Voices, (September 2014)
[...] a timely republication of an important work on a subject of topical relevance for the next few years, as we enter a quinquennium of remembrance. Lee Gatiss, Churchman, vol. 128, issue 3, (2014)<br \><br \>This book is particularly useful to understand the impact of this War on the psyche of Christians in Britain, the resultant moral dilemma about the credibility of their faith claims in public places, and their missionary work both at home and overseas. Anyone who wishes to understand the First World War and the Church of England will find this book insightful and helpful. --Daniel Jeyaraj, Theological Book Review, volume 26, no 1, 2014
About the Author
Alan Wilkinson, an Anglican priest, has ministered in three parishes, was Chaplain of St Catharine's College Cambridge and Principal of Chichester Theological College. He taught for the universities of Cambridge, Bristol and Portsmouth and for the Open University. Since 1988 he has been an honorary priest at the Portsmouth Cathedral. He has written extensively on the interaction between church and society in the twentieth century.