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Attitudes to war in the Church of England 1939 - 1983

Wilby, Timothy D. (1987) Attitudes to war in the Church of England 1939 - 1983. Masters thesis, Durham University.



A study of attitudes in the Church of England must be at once an historical survey of and commentary upon church life within the period stated. In its most formal aspect, this life is reflected in the proceedings of various representative bodies, where they have dealt with matters relating to war. The principal text is undoubtedly the statement of the 1930 Lambeth Conference which has been reaffirmed at each subsequent meeting: "War as a method of settling international disputes is incompatible with the teaching and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ." The period of study is divided into three sections: war firm, up to 1964, and to 1983, and the work of the Canterbury and York Convocations and, later, the General Synod, is dealt with closely. Particularly significant is the Falklands Conflict of 1982.Also important is theological reflection on the events. Here the influence of Reinhold Niebuhr is clearly detectable, especially in relation to the theological arguments surrounding pacifism. The Falklands Conflict provides an example of how the tradition of the Just War can be applied today. Committee’s rarely produce prophetic works. This is much more the area in which individual voices matter, and four outstanding examples are discussed: Temple, Bell, Raven and MacKinnon. Then the theology of the church is worked out in two ways. Firstly, in liturgy, the focus of church life, and in relation to war, this is Remembrance Liturgy, so a study is made of its development and content. Secondly, the theology of the church is seen in its practical ministry. Thus the work of Army Chaplains is investigated, with attention to the problems inherent in such a ministry. The existence of forces' chaplains is in itself a reminder of the Church's charge and commitment to preach the Gospel of Peace in the area of man's greatest sin.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1987
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:43

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