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Durham e-Theses
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The religious thought of G.A Studdert Kennedy, (1883-1929), in relation to its social and intellectual context

Hopkinson, W H. (1978) The religious thought of G.A Studdert Kennedy, (1883-1929), in relation to its social and intellectual context. Masters thesis, Durham University.



G.A. Studdert Kennedy was a preacher and rhymster who was widely acclaimed both as a First World War chaplain and as Messenger of the Industrial Christian Fellowship. This work examines the relation of his religious thought to the intellectual and social context and suggests possible reasons for the apparent aptness of his message. The effects of the war and the intellectual climate are summarized as a disruption of traditional social patterns and the fostering of a meaning in the new environment. Similarly, in post war society, industrialization and secularization are seen as accelerated by the war, bringing man's desire for 'rootedness' into greater prominence. A review of Kennedy's writings reveals underlying all a coherent and developing message. Seeing a history of duality in Christian worship between the 'Almighty God' and the 'suffering God', he rejected the former on the grounds it was unhelpful and consistently interpreted belief in terms of the latter. The concepts of salvation and society are particularly influenced by concentration upon the logos. The power of salvation is the effect of the logos picture upon the mind, the logos provides the direction of social progress. It is suggested that the 'suffering God' was a felicitous motif for Kennedy's context. It has the potential of providing meaning and motivation in the god forsakenness of war, succour for the working man, and a spiritual dynamic for growing collectivism, although Kennedy has difficulty in sustaining the relevance of his social thought to secular society. In conclusion it is suggested that the 'suffering God' motif is balanced by an eschatological 'Almighty' quality but that the power of the logos picture as a dynamic for change remains unproven.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1978
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:23

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