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Durham e-Theses
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Sacraments and symbols in the Salvation Army

Lawson, Kenneth (1996) Sacraments and symbols in the Salvation Army. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This work seeks to trace the attitude of The Salvation Army to sacraments and symbols from its early sacramental period (1865-1883) and then from 1883 to the present day, a longer time during which formal sacraments have not been used in Army worship. The thesis consists of seven main chapters, plus an introduction and conclusion. It contains a critical examination of the historical origins of the Army's non-sacramentalism and the debate which has arisen about earlier historical influences on the Army, including various Reformers, the Quakers and the Methodists. Some of the Army's own published works defending its non-sacramentalism are also examined in detail. Chapters dealing with the developing spirituality within The Salvation Army; the introduction of its own symbols into its organisation and worship, and the emphasis which has been placed on holiness are all included. There is also a discussion of the present state of debate amongst Salvationist regarding the possible re- introduction of the sacraments into its worship. The aim of this thesis is to demonstrate that, though the Army formally abolished the sacraments in 1883, in actual practice through the extensive use of symbolism, sacramental ideas have continued to exercise a profound influence and it is therefore being inconsistent with itself in its unqualified opposition to the use of the sacraments in its worship. This viewpoint is richly illustrated by examples both from the literature of the Army and from accounts of personal experience (both of myself and others). Some of my informants have asked for their names not to be disclosed; otherwise frill documentation is provided. Careful consideration is also given to possible influences of sacramental spirituality on the Army; also on its own developing spirituality - particularly as it relates to the question of holiness teaching.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1996
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:42

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